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.

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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Big Papi hits big walk-off double to beat Tigers

The Tigers were holding a Fenway slim 4-2 lead, when they intentionally walked Kevin Youkilis in the bottom of the 9th inning , loading the bases to create a double play possibility at any base and setting up a match between lefty Phil Coke and lefty Ortiz. Ortiz responded by mashing a bases clearing double off of former Yankee Coke, giving the Sox a much needed 5-4 victory in this contest between the two 3rd place teams.

Dice-K started the game for the Sox today. In 6 innings, he gave up 4 runs on 8 hits and 2 walks while striking out 5 Tigers. Richardson, Atchison and Okajima held the Tigers in a cage for the remainder of the game- 1 walk from Richardson was all they could muster. The Red Sox did manage to bang 15 hits today, with every one in the line-up who had an at bat getting at least 1 hit, but they also stranded 10 baserunners. Ryan Kalish got 2 hits in his debut. Struggling reliever Okajima earned his 4th victory this season by pitching a 1-2-3 9th inning.

Sox 5 Tigers 4 BOX SCORE

Fenway West 07.31.10

Delcarmen and Doubront

Rotoworld.com posted a Tweet from Ken Rosenthal: The Sox have deemed the Rockies' asking price for Beimel as too high. It's clear that Boston desires some bullpen help for the stretch run, as they are also interested in trading Manny Delcarmen, but for another reliever.

(But who gives a RA about anything KR has to say? Got salt?)

Rotoworld.com also posted that Felix Doubront who made 3 starts for the Boston Red Sox before getting sent back to Pawtucket has moved him to the bullpen in anticipation of needing bullpen help down the stretch with the parent club. While Doubront went 1-2, 4.11 ERA in 3 starts with Boston, he is 8-3, 2.88 ERA with Pawtucket.

Fenway West 07.31.10

Yankees looking to for set-up man to replace Joba

Andrew Marchand of ESPNNewYork.com is speculating that Joba Chamberlain (5.79 ERA in 37.1 innings) could be dangled as trade chum from the Yankees:

With Saturday's 4 p.m. deadline fast approaching, the New York Yankees don't see anyone on the market right now who could come in and be an automatic replacement for Joba Chamberlain as the new bridge to Mariano Rivera, a baseball official with knowledge of the team's thinking said.

Fenway West 07.31.10

A-Rod in the news again

From ESPN: Former Texas Rangers and current New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez filed an objection to the Rangers' bankruptcy plan Wednesday over concerns about whether he would receive the $24.9 million he's owed in deferred compensation.

In response to the ESPN column, Yankee fan 'Zach' commented the following on the Baseball-Reference.com blog:

I am a Yankees Fan, and I think A-Fraud should not be paid anything, he cheated, and it should be him owing the Rangers, Mariners, and Yankees for cheating. His should be banned from the game, and all stats and records should be wiped out. That goes for all players who test positive for PEDs. I don't care what team your on or who you are, if you cheat, you shouldn't be allowed to play, shouldn't be allowed into the Hall of Fame, and should have all stats and records wiped out as if they never happened. He should have to get a pay-cut after testing positive. As a DieHard Yankee Fan, even I want him out, whenever he gets a hit, RBI, or Home Run I always wish it was someone else, even if I never heard of them before. His 600th HR means nothing to me, I wont celebrate it, If I caught his 600th HR ball, I would write "Cheater's Never Win, Neither Will You" In permanent marker and make sure he gets that ball. I would rather have a bad but clean 3rd baseman, than a "good" but juiced 3rd baseman. A-Fraud is a greedy idiot, I celebrate getting $50, and he is whining about $24,000,000 when he is going to make triple that in 2 years. Why not donate that money to starving kids in Africa? Thats what I would do if I was a Major League Baseball Player. They need it a lot more than I do.

Perhaps A-Rod is worried that he won't be able to afford Toronto strippers anymore, or having the finances to court and woo celebrity divas such as Madonna?

Fenway West 07.31.10

Rockies: 11 two-out hits in a row last night

Last night the Colorado Rockies entered the bottom of the 8th inning sitting on a nice 5-2 lead over the Cubs. Barnes doubled and Mora singled to lead off the inning. After the next 2 batters struck out, the Rockies then proceeded to rattle off 11 hits in a row scoring 12 runs, setting a new major league record in the process.

Click on list to enlarge




Lou is not happy

Fenway West 07.31.10

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Red Sox send Halos "Knockin' on Heaven's Door"

Commander Kick Ass pitched another good one today, going 7 innings, allowing 3 runs on 5 hits, 1 walk, while striking out 5 as the Red Sox beat the Angels 7-3 to complete a sweep of the 3 game series. Beckett earned only his his 2nd victory of the 2010 campaign, his 1st since returning from the DL. The Red Sox have won 6 of their last 10 games.

This game was the 1st in the club's history in which all 4 infielders- Youkilis, Hall, Scutaro, and Beltre- hit HR's in the same game. Scutaro's homer happened to be a grand slam in the 7th inning that broke the 3-3 tie, handing Beckett the victory.

It's looking like the Angels might be done for the season and "Knockin' On Heaven's Door" as they have lost their last 4 games and 8 of their last 10 games bringing them back down to the .500 level once again in a difficult season. They lag behind a very strong Texas Rangers team, and are also behind a resurgent Oakland A's team who beat the Rangers tonight. This is the 2nd series this season that the Red Sox have swept the Angels. Red Sox once again seem to own the Angels.

Sox 7 Angels 3 BOX SCORE

I had the good fortune to play with Stu Allen and Pat Nevins at the 1st Annual Rock and Sox Benefit for The Jimmy Fund and The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Here's one for the Angels as performed by Stu, Pat and friends.

Actually, Pat did not play on this song, but he was with the band the rest of the night. Stu sings lead vocals, the guitarist to his right, our left, is Mark Karan. More youtube videos here, and the full show, audio only, here.

Fenway West 07.29.10

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Zitosis: a condition that free agents are most susceptible to after signing huge, abominable contracts. The most common symptom is a drastic decline of the player's performance in the first 1 to 3 or 4 years after signing the contract. Other symptoms may include apathy for the new team's performance; moodiness; callous attitude for the player's own poor performance; and disruptive behavior in the dugout, clubhouse and in public.

This condition first appeared in December of 2006 when free agent Barry Zito signed a contract with the San Francisco Giants for 7 years and $126 million. In his 1st 3 years with the Giants, he lost more games than he won, his ERA ranged from 4.03 to 5.15, and WHIP's of 1.60 as his highest and 1.35 as his best. So far this year, he has won 8 games and lost 6 with a 3.49 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP. He is finally starting to look like has overcome his affliction.

It seems that John Lackey may have contracted this affliction when he signed with the Red Sox, but it appears that his diagnosis may be milder than the pitcher after whom it has been named. His condition will continue to be monitored.

Daisuke Matsuzaka seems to have a delayed presentation of Zitosis. After signing with the Red Sox in 2007, he had a relatively successful year in his 1st year playing in the United States. He had a very good year in 2008 despite his relatively high 1.32 WHIP, winning 18 and losing only 3 games. 2009 saw his ERA climb up to 5.76 and a horrendous 1.87 WHIP while spending much of the season on the DL. In this season, he has won more games than lost, and his ERA and WHIP numbers have improved over the previous season, but he still has not lived up to the potential that was expected of him when he signed in 2007.

There is hope though, for free agents suffering from Zitosis. If you know a free agent who may be suffering from Zitosis, tell them to ask their doctors about Fukitol, a new drug showing remarkable improvements in performance. Big pharmaceutical companies urge you to talk to talk to your doctor soon about Fukitol.

Fenway West 08.02.10

Monday, July 26, 2010

Michael Bowden- Locked and Loaded (also, separated at birth from

I first met Michael Bowden during my first trip ever to a professional ball clubhouse in 2009 on a trip to RI to visit family. He grew up in the Chicago area rooting for the Cubs and made his major league debut in 2008 pitching against the White Sox, and a solid one it was- he went 5 innings, allowing 7 hits and 2 runs, earning him a victory in his first Major League start, as well as his first Major League appearance. It's been an up and down roller coaster ride for him, as it it for many minor leaguers on the cusp of reaching the big show permanently- witness Clay Buchholz.

I caught up with him briefly again in Pawtucket last month and had a brief chat with him. He was eager to make a transition from starter to reliever. These decisions, whether one makes them himself, or if it is made for him by others, can be tough to digest at times, but it appears that Bowden is locked and loaded for the big leagues. He spoke eagerly of making appearances more often rather than once every 5 games. Papelbon's transition from starter to closer was recalled during our discussion. Barring any 11th hour blockbuster trades, which I presume is the reason he hasn't been called back up yet, I would expect to see him wearing a 'B' on his cap rather than a 'P' any day soon.

His recent statistics in Pawtucket have his back. Even if you include his subpar game on Wednesday when he allowed 2 runs in 1 inning, he still has 'Major League' written all over him. His last game as a starter was July 2nd, when he got word that he would be needed as a reliever in Boston. In his 3 appearances in Boston in July, he pitched a total of 2.1 innings, allowing 3 hits and 1 walk while striking out 2 and not allowing any runs. My guess is that Theo wanted to get a couple of innings in for him to get any jitters he may have had upon returning to the big leagues for good. Whether he has the composure to be a top notch closer remains to be seen, but his numbers look good for middle and situational relief, and on occasion, a spot set up man should Bard and Papelbon get overworked as they did on their most recent west coast tour.

In his last 10 games with Pawtucket, which include 4 starts, he has pitched 36.1 innings, won 5, lost 0, allowed 20 hits and 6 runs, while striking out 25. His ERA over those 10 games in Pawtucket is 1.49, and his opponents have only batted .159 against him.

Let's hope Michael Bowden is Theo's ace up his sleeve.

Separated at birth from Brad Pitt?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Commander is back, another pitcher's duel, Sox win

Commander Kick Ass is back from the DL and looking to regain his former title as Ace of the staff. Beckett pitched a strong 5.2 innings, allowing 1 run on 5 hits and 3 walks while striking out 5 Mariners tonight. Atchison earned the victory as Beckett left the game while the score was tied. Bard pitched a 1-2-3 8th inning, striking out 2. Papelbon earned his 22nd save of the season. He struck out 2, but he also walked 1 and and allowed 1 hit as well.

Offensively, despite scoring only 2 runs, they racked up 10 hits. Youk went 2/4, Hermida went 1/1 as a PH, and Bill Hall hit his 10th HR of the season.

Sox 2 Mariners 1 BOX SCORE

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Lackey's Gem Wasted, Sox Still Win in 13th Inning

Lackey was looking every bit the eleventeen bazillion dollars the Sox dropped on him tonight, going 8 strong innings, allowing 1 unearned run on 2 hits and 1 walk while striking out 6 Mariners. Unfortunately, Manny Delcarmen imploded in the top of the 9th. He faced 4 batters and did not register an out. Papelbon needed 30 pitches to finish out the inning, but before he did that, he allowed the 2 Manny baserunners in to score, tying up the game and earning him his 4th blown save of the season. Yup, the Sox had a 6-1 advantage going into the bottom of the 9th against the lowly, sunken Mariners, and managed to sink to their depths, at least as far as this game was concerned. (Is Pap done? His trade value just dipped again, that's for sure.) Bard and Okajima pitched the 10th, 11th, and 12th innings.

In the top of the 13th inning, Youk singled, Cameron walked, and Patterson knocked them them both in with a double, giving the Sox an 8-6 advantage. Ramon Ramirez pitched a 1-2-3 13th inning on 10 pitches. Okajima gets the win, Ramirez earned his 2nd save of this season.

A 6-1 win over the Mariners would have been a huge boost to the confidence of the Sox, but the ineffectiveness of Manny and Pap in the 9th inning may haunt the Sox during the remainder of this west coast trip.

Sox 8 Mariners 6 BOX SCORE

Fenway West returns

Now that Matt and I are back from the VL (vacation list) and Fenway West has a full roster again, posting on a regular basis will resume.

Getting the 1st Rock and Sox benefit off to a successful start was a huge undertaking that took up a lot of my time, but despite its not going quite as planned, it qualified as a success. Mistakes were made (by me), and other circumstances beyond my control led to reaching a donation total less than the stated goal, and Sweet Caroline and Tessie being scratched off the set list. Lessons in event production have been duly noted and will be applied to next year’s event. Promises of more support from The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and The Boston Red Sox have me chomping at the bit to get started on the 2011 Rock and Sox Benefit. In addition to all the organizational work, the 2 rehearsals, 1 show, and 1 ball game (on about 5 hours sleep), Ian's Sox and Dawgs post and video about one of Carl Crawford’s (Tampa Bay) testicles.

Rock and Sox Photos

Pat Nevins

Berklee grad and Red Sox fan Stu Allen

OUCH! That wasn't so bad after all!

Erik Wikman, bagpiper, playing the 'Old Timey Baseball Version' of "Tessie" while Dave gets his hair cut

A happy Red Sox fan! Dave Maciel, Mike Chase

More photos on the Rock and Sox Facebook page

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Rock and Sox Photos v.1

MA native, Sox fan, and SF poet Sam Flot

Berklee grad and Red Sox fan Stu Allen

Pat Nevins and Stu Allen

OUCH! That wasn't so bad after all!

Erik Wikman, bagpiper, playing the 'Old Timey Baseball Version' of "Tessie" while Dave gets his hair cut

Dave Maciel, Mike Chase

A happy Red Sox fan!

More photos on the Rock and Sox Facebook page

The '1st Annual Rock and Sox Benefit for The Jimmy Fund and The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute'

The '1st Annual Rock and Sox Benefit for The Jimmy Fund and The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute' was held at The Connecticut Yankee in San Francisco on Saturday, June 26th. The Yankee, as it is known locally, is a great Red Sox and Boston sports restaurant, bar, and live music venue located less than 2 miles from the Giants' AT&T Park. The Benefit was scheduled to coincide with the Red Sox 1st trip to play the Giants in San Francisco for the 1st time in 6 years.

The inspiration to produce this event was a result of several different events occurring within a short time period. My oldest brother was diagnosed in November of 2008 with stage 4 lung cancer despite quitting smoking 2 years prior. His doctors gave him about a year to live. November of 2009 came and went with him still alive and battling his affliction. The 2010 MLB schedules were released and I saw that the Red Sox would be playing the Giants here in San Francisco in June. Fenway West had become one of the more popular Red Sox fan sites on the Internet according to RedSox100.com, and at times had been clearing 10k hits per month. Two friends, one a former band mate, were diagnosed with stage 4 liver cancer and passed away earlier this year. Coverage of the 2010 Hot Stove Cool Music event that takes place in Boston each winter was published. All these events got me to scratching my head and coming up with an idea of staging a similar event as the Hot Stove Cool Music benefit, but on a smaller scale this year. I ran the idea by Matt, he liked it, and before we knew it, we realized that this benefit was actually going to happen.

I assembled a house band which I dubbed ‘The Cancer Sucks Band’, consisting of some of the finest musicians in the San Francisco Bay Area, including Pat Nevins, Mike Chase, Sam Flot, Dave Stein, Jeff Faust and myself. Red Sox fan Stu Allen sat in on a few numbers. Three of us in the band are originally from RI or MA and are Red Sox fans. The band was booked to play at The Connecticut Yankee on the only night that would allow fans to be able to attend the event without missing any of the games. Fritz Frisbie is the owner of The Yankee and a NH native. Click here if you would like to know how a Red Sox bar came to be named The Connecticut ‘Yankee.’ Susan J. Weiand, a native of Holbrook, MA and a Sox fan, is a regionally and nationally known concert photographer who donated her time to document this Benefit.

Web sites were set up to disseminate information regarding the show and to collect donations. Press releases were sent to San Francisco Bay Area and New England media outlets. The band played well. We were well received by all in attendance that night, and Fritz was happy with the total of his till.

Prizes in an opportunity drawing were given away over the course of the evening. Fritz generously donated dinner for 2 and a pair of tickets to the Sunday Sox-Giants game. We had received 3 signed balls to be part of a silent auction. The Mike Lowell ball received a generous donation of $100. The total we will have raised for The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is at $1000. Donations are still being accepted at the Rally Against Cancer web site.

As representatives of The Jimmy Fund and Rally Against Cancer, Tim Wakefield, a fine guitarist in his own right who has played at Hot Stove, and Clay Buchholz were invited to perform at the event. Realistically, I did not expect them to make an appearance, as they had already fulfilled their required public appearances. I did leave enough wiggle room to be pleasantly surprised, though.

At first, I said that I would have my hair cut on stage to be donated to Locks of Love if either of them showed up and played. By the time the show came around, I decided that I was tired of buying Drano and would have my hair cut anyhow. Many could not believe that I was serious.

Big Thanks go out to Fritz Frisbie, owner of The CT Yankee, Matt O’Donnell, owner of Fenway West, Mike DeGuglielmo of The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, photographer Susan J. Weiand, Geraldine Cohen, Sarah Hamilton, Eve-Marie and all of the band members mentioned above, especially Pat Nevins, Mike Chase, Sam Flot and Stu Allen. And of course, I must thank all who made a financial donation to The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Check back here at Fenway West for links to youtube videos taken at the show, links to the audio recordings, and links to the 2 remaining signed balls that will be auctioned on the eBay site.

The Red Sox won’t be playing in San Francisco next year, however, the Oakland A’s remain on the schedule. Once the 2011 MLB schedules are released, I will take the lessons learned from this year’s Rock and Sox event and will make next year’s even better.

Photos coming in the next post!

I'm gonna be in the movies!

Back at the beginning of this month I saw this post in a San Francisco music discussion group that I am a member of:

The `Moneyball' movie needs extras sitting in the stands! Filming in late July at the Oakland Coliseum. Some filming takes place overnight.

Brad Pitt plays Oakland GM Billy Beane
Philip Seymour Hoffman plays manager Art Howe
Jonah Hill plays assistant GM Paul DePodesta

Details here:

I'll root for the A's until they play the Sox, so as I have the time these days, I could not resist responding to the casting call. I'll be sitting in the stands when the movie comes out as they wrote me back and said come on down! Next Wednesday, I'll be getting there early and hoping they zoom in on me in one of the scenes. I'm already collecting A's gear to wear from friends. (You didn't think I owned any A's schwag, now did you?)

Clay not sharp in his return, Sox fall to A's again

Clay Buchholz made his first start for Boston since June 26th when he suffered an injury to his leg while running the bases in an interleague game against the San Francisco Giants. (I didn't hear anyone from the Red Sox complaining about AL pitchers having to run in interleague games, unlike the Steinbrenner's did when Chein-Ming Wang hurt his leg in 2008 in such a game.) He was a little rusty. His velocity was there, but not so for location. He was pulled after 4 IP and 87 pitches after giving up 5 runs, all earned.

Jed Lowrie made his long awaited return to the Boston Red Sox line-up and fared a bit better. He went 1/2, drew 2 BB's, scored once and knocked one in. He also made a throwing error. Adrian Beltre hammered his 16th HR of the season while going 3/4 and driving in 3 runs.

Sox 4 A's 6 BOX SCORE

Monday, July 19, 2010

Sox win, 2-1 over A's, and it was over by 10:00 pm

One of the advantages of being a Red Sox fan and living on the west coast is that we don't have to walk into work the next day after staying up until 2 in the morning watching an A's, Angels, or Mariners night game. (Or in this year's interleague play, the Giants, too.)

In a great pitcher's duel, Dice-K outpitched Ben Sheets leading the Sox to a 2-1 victory over the A's. Dice-K went 6.2 innings, allowing only 2 hits and 2 walks, lowering his ERA to 4.29, while notching his 7th victory against 3 losses. Bard and Papelbon once again tag-teamed the opposition in the final 2.1 innings of the game.

There is not much offense to talk about- Eric Patterson hit one into deep centerfield and he was on fire from the second he hit it and turned what would have been a double for most other batters into a triple. Big Papi was up next and donated a sac fly to score him. Had Patterson not been out of the box and around the bases with Ellsbury like speed, it would have been a double, and he might not have made it home. The point became moot as Adrian Beltre was up 2 batters later and smacked his 15th tater of the season. The 2 runs were all that was necessary for the win tonight. The Sox did have a total of 8 hits on the night, but they were scattered as Ben Sheets turned in a fine performance of his own.

Let's hope that this is the Dice-K we'll see all the way to the post season.

Sox 2 A's 1 BOX SCORE

As I only have basic cable TV, and I mean really basic, I don't get to watch A's home games here. The A's rarely, if ever sell out a home game, so they're home games are broadcast on the next level up of cable TV services. I went over to a friend's house to watch the game. I've mentioned several times about being in 3 bands with a Yankee fan. After the Sox beat the Yankees in April of last year, he wouldn't let me in his house to watch any more Red Sox-Yankees games. Since this game did not involve the Yankees, I had a free pass in. We both root for the A's, but not if they're playing the Sox (in my case), or the Yankees (in his case), so we were rooting for opposite teams tonight. We had been flipping back and forth between the A's game and the Giants-Dodgers game. We share common ground when it comes to NL teams. As soon as the Sox game was over, we watched the end of the Giants game, in which they won. Since the Giants do sell out their home games, they are broadcast on the basic cable TV package.

We get along just fine, as we put the game of baseball above petty rivalries. We both agree that life is to short to be hatin', which allows us a good friendship and to be able to watch games together without killing each other.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

This is reminding me of 2006

2006 was the year that the Captain went down with a knee injury on the last day before the trading deadline- July 31, 2006. The Red Sox went into a tailspin after that going from 1 game up at the end of that day to 11 games behind at the end of the season.

I don't think anyone counted on the improbability of Varitek going down 3 days after Victor Martinez and 5 days after Dustin Pedroia (the day after his huge 5/5 game at COL.) So far this month, the Sox have won 5 games against 8 losses. They were in 2nd place only 1 GB the division leading Yankees on June 30th. From April 20th on to June 30th, they had the best record in baseball, climbing from a miserable 4-9 start to closing in and ready to pounce on the Yankees.

The only difference this year is that Theo had an extra month to be able to address the catching situation. Kevin Cash has been the quick fix, as he has caught Wakefield before. Wakefield moved back into the rotation following injuries to Beckett, Dice-K, and Buchholz. The injuries sustained not only by Pedroia, Martinez, Varitek, those 3 pitchers, and Ellsbury, Cameron, Lowell, Hermida, and Delcarmen should have sent this year's team into a similar tailspin if it weren't for the grit, determination and resolve that the unlikely players Nava, Hall, McDonald, and Doubront have shown in their places. However, those qualities alone are not going to get this team to the playoffs. With the injuries mounting a month before the trade deadline, I'm sure Theo is working on something, whether it's DeJesus or someone else.

The injuries occurred early enough in the season that hope still remains the injured players can come back and mount a campaign such as the one starting on April 20th. In the meantime, all we (the fans) can do is wish them well, hope for the best, and take a look at the upcoming schedule.

The Sox have 10 upcoming games with the relatively weak AL West Division, but they're on the road. An off day on July 29th is followed by 3 games at home with Detroit and 4 with Cleveland. They play 10 road games against the Yankees, Blue Jays, and Rangers, for a total of 19 games in 19 days. After a rare off day, they host the Angels, Blue Jays, and Mariners. After one more much needed off day, then it's off to the giant yurt in Tampa to play the Rays.

Let's hope these guys heal faster than expected, and that in the meantime, the unlikely replacements and occasional heroes keep them within striking distance of a playoff spot.

Jon Lester pitched well today, allowing only 3 earned runs in 8 innings, while striking out 6 Rangers, but his counterparts on the Rangers pitched 1 run better.

Sox 2 Rangers 4 BOX SCORE

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Pitcher's Duel at Fenway, Sox win

John Lackey was cruising through his first 5 IP tonight, scattering 4 hits, walking only 1, allowing no runs, all this on 75 pitches. A 31 pitch 6th inning in which the Rangers took a 2-1 lead ran his pitch count up to 106, seemed as if that would be the night for him, but he came right back out for a 9 pitch 1-2-3 7th inning to keep the Sox in it.

In the bottom of the 1st inning, McDonald doubled and Papi singled him home. That is pretty much all the offense the Sox could manage from Cliff Lee, who is garnering big dividends for the Rangers since going south from Seattle recently. After allowing 1 run on 3 hits in the 1st inning, Lee allowed 1 hit, a double by Cameron in the 5th inning. He also had not walked any Red Sox. His pitch count was absurdly low- 80 pitches through 7 innings, as he pounded the strike zone relentlessly. He had only two 3 ball counts on the night.
Papelbon came in to pitch in the top of the 9th, as the game went into the bottom half of that inning with the Rangers holding onto a slim 2-1 score. Scutaro led off with a single and McDonald moved him over to 2nd with a well placed bunt. Papi flied out moving Scutaro over to 3rd with Youkilis coming up to the plate. Youk’s clutch double plated Scutaro and sent the game into extra innings. Bard, Papelbon, and Delcarmen pitched 4 innings, allowing only 1 walk by Bard in that span. In the bottom of the 11th, Scutaro walked, McDonald bunted him over to 2nd, but Alexi Ogando’s throwing error moved them over to 2nd and 3rd. Papi being the feared hitter he once was, was walked intentionally. Youkilis who had tied the game in the bottom of the 9th hit a sac fly far enough to get Scutaro home and win the game.

Sox 3 Rangers 2 BOX SCORE

Both the Yankees and the Rays have been red hot recently. Tampa thumped the Yankees 10-5 today. Let’s hope they continue to kick the snot out of each other in this series.

Fenway West 07.17.10

Red Sox Line Up 07.17.10 v. Texas

July 17, 2010 Texas Rangers v. Boston Red Sox @ Fenway Park

1~ Scutaro, Marco (SS)
2~ McDonald, Darnell (LF)
3~ Ortiz, David (DH)
4~ Youkilis, Kevin (1B)
5~ Drew, J.D. (RF)
6~ Beltre, Adrian (3B)
7~ Cameron, Mike (CF)
8~ Hall, Bill (2B)
9~ Cash, Kevin (C)

SP~ Lackey, John

Separated at birth? Lackey and Teixeira?

Notes from PawSox 07.08.10

Fernando Cabrera

He had a 1-2-3 inning, top of the 9th

He remembered me from last year

I wished him well in the hopes of making it to the big leagues

Michael Bowden

He is very excited and psyched to be making the transition from starter to reliever.

We talked of the different mindsets of a starter and of a reliever- starter plays only once every 5 days or so, whereas a reliever can play a few times per week. A reliever has more of a chance to affect the outcome of a few games per week, while a starter has that chance a little more than once a week. Papelbon made a successful transition, so maybe Bowden will, too.

Daniel Barbarisi

I introduced myself to him in the clubhouse. He was sitting in front of me in the press box. He said he had heard of Fenway West. He was on a deadline, so he couldn't talk for very long.

Lars Anderson

We didn't talk about baseball. We talked about Grateful Dead shows. He has taken his mother to one, and we were both at the same show, NYE 12.31.08 in San Francisco.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Injuries and replacements are becoming costly

Rookie pitcher Felix Doubront made two costly errors to help lead the Rangers to a blowout 5th inning. Although he was only charged with 2 ERs in 4.2 IP, the visitors went from being on the short end of a 3-2 score to a 7-3 lead by the end of the 5th inning. Each team would score 1 more run in the game.

Although there seems to be great resolve on this team, rookies and replacements can only carry the team so far. From today's box score: Patterson 0/4, .204 BA; Nava 0/3, BA .294; Hall 0/4, BA .240; Cash 0/3, .173; Shealy has yet to record a hit.

Those on the DL can't get here too soon. The Rangers are for real this year and will be trying hard to win this series from the Sox. Let's hope that resolve returns for another game. Let's hope Lackey isn't lacking tomorrow.

Sox 4 Rangers 8 BOX SCORE

We will survive, we will get by. (We are everywhere.)

Dave's not here...

Actually, I am here, physically, anyhow. Matt will be coming back soon, too, I think. No I don't think, I'm on autopilot right now.

I woke up in RI, 4:30 AM Pacific time, made my final rounds about the ol' homestead and town, packed up, and said my goodbyes. My big Red Sox fan brother gave me a ride to TF Green after stopping for one last round of clam cakes and stuffies on the way to the airport. (Meh, meh, meh... my bottle of mouthwash was bigger than 3 oz., so it went in the checked luggage, and I couldn't find the little mouthwash strips that had made their way to the bottom of the carry on bag. Yeah, gross, I know. Will be unpacking that very soon.) I get there more than an hour early, my brother left, and then discovered my 7:14 flight would be late. Great. The desk jockey by the door said I'll be able to make my connection at Dulles with no problem. I got a half can of Coke poured into a little cup full of ice as my complimentary beverage. One hour later, I find myself tearing ass through Dulles trying to make my flight to SFO, with very few minutes to spare. No time to stop for a bite or to take a crap, I was the last one on. Sumbich, all I'm gonna get is a little sack of peanuts for dinner, that is until I told the flight attendant my situation. So I got a complimentary box full of junk food and passed on more Coke. I'm a white knuckle type of flyer, I'm totally convinced that the next flying tin can that goes down will be the one I'm on, but not tonight. Some pretty stud-boy in front of me thought he was exempt from FAA regulations. The flight attendants had to tell him 5 times to put his seat in the upright position. I actually got about 3.9 winks on that flight. I wake up and see 'Who's Line Is It Anyways' is being shown, so I dig out my headphones, only to catch the last 5 minutes of the show. My daughter and I used to watch that when she would stay at my place on the weekends. She knows I like the Red Sox and not the Yankees, but she's really not a baseball fan. Hopefully, yet.

So what am I doing on the Internet after 24 hours awake? Well, I've got a responsibility to our (Fenway West) readers. I'll be posting about some things you already know (the ASG), and some things you don't know about yet, such as the book I received in the mail to review, and the Billy Beane movie.

I also had to make sure that all the Green Monsta Ale made it safely home. Inventory all accounted for. I had a light suitcase going to RI just to get some of that GM Ale back here. That and some yummy Portuguese sweet bread that you can't get here. I step on the scale, note the weight (not good, Dave), and then get back on with the suitcase in my hands. 60 pounds. Crap. I start taking some of the stuff my folks said I could take (they're 92 and 88, God bless 'em, but they're downsizing, too), and shuffle some heavier stuff into the carry on bags. 52 pounds. Repeat. 49 pounds. Repeat 1 more time for good measure. 47 pounds. OK, that should be good. I get to the airport and find my bag checks in at 43 pounds. Crap! I could've put another 6 pack in there! Oh well, I'll be heading back in November.

Anyhow, this dawg needs to crawl into the sack, after I find the toothbrush and mouthwash. I know I won't be wakin' up until way past the crack of noon.

By the way, in case you didn't know, the Sox had a rough night against Texas, which I just found out.

Peace, Out.... (Wait, that's old already, isn't it?)


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

George Steinbrenner dies at 80

ESPN is reporting that New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner passed away this morning at 6:30 AM. Read the full story here.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Big Papi wins The Home Run Derby!

David ‘Big Papi’ Ortiz wanted to swing in the All Star Home Run Derby in Anaheim, CA tonight. He wanted to let everyone know to know that he is far, far, very far from done. It wasn’t too long ago that forks were out and ready all over Red Sox Nation. Granted he has tested the loyalty all of the Nation’s legions of fans for 2 full months last year and again in April of this year. That Francona had Mike Lowell pinch hit for Ortiz on April 21st this year was seemingly another sign that Big Papi, probably one of the most prolific clutch hitters in Red Sox history, had become simply David Ortiz, just another designated hitter and part time first baseman.

Papi finished 3rd in the 1st round of the Derby sending 8 long balls ‘To the moon, Alice!’ as Chris Berman exclaimed. His longest was 440’ and 402’ was his average. Corey Hart held the lead after the completion of the 1st round with 13 home runs, followed by the former Red Sox prospect Hanley Ramirez with 9 homers. Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera rounded out the 2nd round qualifiers with 7 homers.

Big Papi was still far from done for the night, though. He was the 2nd round leader with 13, leaving him in a tie with Ramirez, each stroking a total of 21 home runs after the 2nd round. Ortiz and Ramirez were on their way to the final round.

Papi was saving his best for the last, though. Pouring on the hot sauce, Big Papi was huge in the final round, knocking another 11 balls out of the yard. When it came down to ‘the student and the mentor’ in a head to head competition in the final round, the mentor won. Ramirez ran out of gas hitting only 5 in the final round. Big Papi has made his statement. I would not be surprised to see the National League give him free passes in tomorrow night’s All Star Game.

Maybe it was his stylin’ shoes, maybe it was his son cheering him on from the sidelines, maybe it was the laid back atmosphere of this Derby, but whatever it was, David ‘Big Papi’ has redeemed himself. That wrist injury may have slowed him down in the first months of the past 2 seasons, emphasis on the ‘past,’ but no longer.

Maybe the best description of the night of Papi's performance came from Berman when he declared that one of those homers was heading to ‘The O Zone, The Ortiz Zone!’

So Red Sox fans, has Papi earned his option for next year? He just may have done it, he just may have done it.

Fenway West 07.12.10

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Live From Fenway Park

Futures at Fenway, Saturday, July 10, 2010

1st pitch 12:03 Jamestown Jammers (Florida Marlins) v. Lowell Spinners (Boston Red Sox)

Even though I went to the press box at the PawSox game two nights ago, this rookie still has some jitters. I wrote up a recap of the SOX @ TOR game last night keeping me up later than I wanted, so this morning I also woke up later than I had wanted. I had been hoping to get here earlier, but my brain is still on CA time, and driving in Boston is a terrifying experience! I followed the driving instructions from Google, but still somehow ended up in Cambridge. I eventually found a parking spot less than 5 minutes away from Fenway. I found the press entrance and found my way up to the press box. There are plenty of seats in the stands that are still empty.

Major League Red Sox tickets are in such big demand that I would have expected a bigger turnout. Maybe it’s the heat and humidity again. The late start and the unexpected detour to Cambridge got me into the press box and set up just moments before the game started. Even though these teams are single A, I was still expecting Game Day to be working, or at least the box score to be updated, as we are in a MLB park. I never did develop a habit of scoring games on paper, so I am at a loss for all the details at the moment. No worries, though. I’m here to chronicle a day in the press box at Fenway Park. If you had told me 3 years ago that I would be sitting here at Fenway, I would have said, ‘Gethefugouttahere!’

Playing in today’s 1st game is Kolbrin Vitek (not a typo) at 3B. He was selected by the Boston Red Sox in the 1st round (20th pick overall) in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft.

A foul ball just came through the open window below me! The official scorer is just below me and behind the open window. He didn’t catch it, but snagged it on the bounce. Another member of the press media jokingly issued him an E for error.

Living in California for the past 25 years has prevented me from getting to a game at Fenway in too many years. I did take a guided tour of the Park in 2005, but didn’t get to go on the field as the Rolling Stones were setting up their stage. One of the patrons taking the tour that day even had a camera confiscated, as photographs were not allowed per the Stones contract.

It is now the middle of the 3rd inning, and a strange mascot ran out to the field that I have never seen before. ‘Bristles’ the giant toothbrush swept all the bases clean. Is this a Lowell thing? Or is this a Boston thing that never gets shown on national TV? I have never seen this whenever I get a chance to watch a Sox game on NESN. A blue man group (not the music band) then came out with a giant slingshot and shot what I would guess to be t-shirts into the stands. The crowd starts singing Journey’s ‘Don’t Stop Believing.’

Lowell is already on the short end of 5-0 score, but I am just happy to be in Fenway Park again watching a game. Granted, it is only a single A rookie league game, but these kids seem to be hustling like crazy, as I’m sure they want to make it to the next level up. Even though some of Matt McCarthy’s ‘Odd Man Out’ may have been fabricated, it still gives a good description of life in the lower levels of pro baseball and the harsher conditions that they endure such as 16 hour bus trips.

I am again sitting very close and high above the center line of home plate. This perspective gives one a much better understanding of the game than you get sitting in the stands or watching on TV. This could be intoxicating. This could lead to a habit. I may even attempt to get a press pass to a Sacramento River Cats (AAA- Oakland) or a San Jose Giants (Advanced A- San Francisco.) My current budget does not allow for premium cable TV or MLB.TV. (I will have to budget for this in the future somehow.) I will be scheduling my future trips from CA to RI around the Futures at Fenway games in the years to come. It’s not the big leagues, but it is a lot of fun. The crowd is very much into the game, as it was in Pawtucket 2 nights ago.

While I was looking up the Sacramento River Cats, I find that Boof (who went poof) Bonser is pitching for them. Sometimes it feels like as if the Oakland and Kansas City clubs are farm teams for the rest of the big leagues.

Other interesting notes about this game include the fact that there are only 2 umpires, The Green Monster scoreboard is blank except for the BOS @ TOR score. The Jamestown infielder who just fielded an infield ball in play dropped the ball on the mound rather than toss it into the stands.

It has just started to rain at the top of the 6th inning. As it is not a hard rain, the game continues. I flip back to the Game Day web page and find that it is now displaying the current statistics of the game.. A few minutes later hail has started coming down much harder than the rain a few minutes ago. We now have a rain delay and the tarps have been pulled out to cover the infield. Advertising strikes everywhere these days. I am looking at a giant logo of L.L. Bean on the tarp. I check weather.com and see that we are about to be hit hard by the scattered thunderstorms that were earlier predicted. Most of the fans have all scurried to the upper covered seats. The BOS @ TOR game is now showing on the giant screen above right field, as well as the TV screen to my immediate right. Given the choice of watching the Boston Red Sox play on TV or going to a single A double header, I choose the live game. I go back to weather.com and check the outlook for the next few hours and see that it will probably continue to rain for the next few hours. A huge thunder boom was heard just now, chasing all but the most dedicated of the fans to run for cover.

A half hour later the rain and hail continue to pummel Fenway and the game has been called in the hope that the storm will pass quick enough to get the 2nd game of the double header started. The rain is not letting up as I watch a waterfall of rain pour into the Red Sox dugout. It’s time to grab a bite to eat, kick back and watch the Sox-Jays game. I could get used to this.

Lowell Spinners 2 Jamestown Jammers 7 BOX SCORE

UPDATE- Just as I reported in Pawtucket, the Red Sox personnel are all very helpful and polite. This is a sign of a well run company. Thanks to the Boston Red Sox!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Busy in July

I am looking foward to posting more here on Fenway West as I have gotten a lot of life's 'clutter' out of the way: the first year at a new home is always the hardest, my daughter's 1st year in a new home has passed, she has a job is going to the local JC and is back living with her mother, band drama has passed and I am now down to 1 working band, with 1 other on a hiatus, and another is still finishing up it's 4th CD. The Cancer Sucks Band is on the shelf until next year. I'll be able to drive less and stay home more, allowing to write more and concentrate on writing and music. There is always much to do while here in RI while visiting the family. I worked the PawSox game Thursday, and will be working the Futures at Fenway tomorrow.

There will soon be coming posts on the Rock and Sox Benefit for The Jimmy Fund and The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute that took place at a Red Sox restaraunt, bar and music venue less than 2 miles from AT&T Park while the Sox where here in town to play the Giants. And of course, my first trip to working a game at Fenway. Granted, the teams are single A ball teams, but we are in similar situations- they are getting a tast of what it's like to play in a major league park, and I will be writing from the Fenway press box for the 2st time. After the games, I'll be inspecting various local bistro's such as Cask 'n Flagon, McGreevey's, and Game On.

When I get home on Friday, once the jet lag has passed, I will be writing more often.

Fenway West 07.09.10

The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades*

My body is still on CA time, so I'm still goin' to bed late and gettin' up late, but hey, I'm on permanent vacation, so why not? Got a late start to the day and didn't get back to the homestead until about the 5th inning and by that time, the game was already over. Lester had a no hitter going into the 4th inning when Jays catcher John Buck singled with 2 outs. Lester promptly ended the inning when the next batter, Aaron Hill lined out to SS Bill Hall.

Wait a minute... Bill Hall? Yes, Bill Hall, jack of many trades. Not only does he play CF, LF, and 2B, he plays SS and 3B, taboot. Nick Swisher ain't got nuttin' on him! Well maybe a little bit, but Bill Hall has provided much help at many different positions given the ever expanding Red Sox DL. (Does he pitch, too?) UPDATE: Yes, he does pitch. He pitched a 1-2-3 9th inning back in May.

Lester went 6 innings giving up 2 runs on 4 hits and 2 walks. He now has 11 wins this season against 3 losses, with a 2.77 ERA. Robert Manuel, a recent call up from Pawtucket, pitched 2 innings, giving up 1 run on 2 hits and 1 walk. His ERA with Boston has dropped from 18.00 after his 1st game with Boston to 7.71 after his 3rd game in the big leagues. Dustin Richardson, yet another recent call up from Pawtucket, finished up with a scoreless 9th inning. His ERA now stands at a very nice 1.93 after his 9th game with Boston.

Now, about the offense. With all the injuries and slumps the Red Sox have endured, damn near the whole starting line up, who would have expected them to score 13 runs in the 1st 4 innings? The Sox chased Ricky Romero out of the game after 2.1 innings. He surrendered 9 runs, 5 earned, when Brian Tallet came in to relieve him. He then gift wrapped 4 more runs in his 1 inning of relief. Exit Tallet, enter Casey Jannsen and yet another run for the Sox.

The oddest play of the game occured in the 6th inning. Mike Cameron hits a 2 out single. Bill Hall hits a double down the right field line. Cameron had no intention of trying to score on that play as the Sox were sitting on a fat 14 run lead. The hit was ruled a ground rule double on fan interference. The umpires then awarded Cameron the home plate and the 15th Sox run. Jannsen argued the umpires decision and was ejected from the game. Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston came out, the umpires discussed the ruling and put Cameron back on 3rd base. (Now could someone please tell me why that didn't happen on the blown call on what should have been the last out of Galarraga's perfect game last month?)

While Big Papi went 0/4, he was issued 2 free passes, while the shift has been utilized by opposing teams. He is once again a feared hitter. Tampa Bay lost today, while the Yankees are clinging to a 2 run lead out in Seattle as of this posting, leaving the Sox currently 4.5 GB the Yanks, and 2 runs behind the Rays.

In any other division, Toronto could be a contender, so this qualifies as a very satisfactory win and a big morale booster for the Red Sox after losing their previous 4 games.

Two games remain before the All Star break and much needed rest. Josh Beckett will pitch a rehab start on Sunday in Pawtucket. I tried for a press pass for that game before Beckett's PawSox start was announced, but still got shut out, so I am settling for the Pawtucket-Rochester game I worked yesterday, and the Futures at Fenway double header tomorrow. The Futures at Fenway double header will mark my 3rd and 4th games reporting from the press box, my first 2 at Fenway following 2 in Pawtucket.

Ya gotta admit, these guys wearing Red Sox unis may be quite unfamiliar to most Red Sox fans, but they sure playing there hearts out. Rather than fold, they are showing a determined resolve not to let this team sink into oblivion. Lesser teams would have thrown in the towel by now.

Be looking for Michael Bowden to make a return trip to the major leagues soon, as he has been tearing up opponents in his last several starts. Pawtucket was instructed to move him to the bullpen in anticipation of being needed in the Boston bullpen soon. I had a chance to speak to him after yesterday's game in which he did not pitch. He has been adjusting his mind set from that of a once every 5 days pitcher, to that of a topnotch reliever making appearances in games more often. Papelbon did it, could he soon be following behind Pap and Bard? He certainly seems anxious to be moved into that role.

With all these call ups and recent no-name acquisitions playing well, 'The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades.'*

*Timbuk 3, 1986

Sox 14 Jays 3 BOX SCORE

Fenway West 07.09.10

Could Wiley be a Yankees fan?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Live from McCoy Stadium

Summer travels have wreaked havoc with us at FW trying to keep up with posting recaps of the Boston Red Sox. I spent yesterday in flying tin cans getting from San Francisco to Providence, arriving here early this morning.

With the spate of recent injuries to the Boston Red Sox has promoted some of the PawSox players up to the big show, so has the AA teams of Salem and Portland lost players to Pawtucket. Today's game against the Rochester Red Wings (Minnesota)is also being broadcast on NESN, so there are more writers here today than the game I attended here last year. The stadium is not as filled as I would have expected, but that could be due to the heat. At 7:30 EDT the temperature is still above 80, a very humid 80 at that point, too.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Garza slows down Red Sox

Matt Garza of the Tampa Bay Rays went 7+ innings allowing only 3 runs on 6 hits and 2 walks while striking out 5 Sox. Dice-K had a half decent game going himself. Through 6 innings he allowed 3 runs on 4 hits and 4 walks while striking out 7 Rays. Atchison tossed a 1-2-3 inning in the 7th. Manny Delcarmen is going through another rough streak. Last night he faced 5 batters and did not get any of them out, 4 hits and 1 walk, and they all scored in a 6 run 8th inning. Ramirez pitched the final 2 innings, allowing 2 of Manny's runners to cross the plate in the 8th inning.

Big Papi smacked 2 doubles, drove in 3 runs and scored once himself. Adrian Beltre cooled off a bit tonight with only 1 hit, but it provided the final Sox run of the night. There were no reports of anyone touching his head, and he also did not land anyone on the DL.

Oh well, you can't win them all, but the Sox still have won 6 of their last 10 and remain 1 game behind the Yankees who also lost last night, and 1 game ahead of the Rays.

Sox 4 Rays 9 BOX SCORE

Fenway West 07.01.10