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, October 30, 2010

Pitcher’s duel? What pitcher’s duel? Giants hammer Lee

Two time Cy Young Award winner (2008, 2009) Tim Lincecum of the SF Giants faced a seemingly bulletproof and invisible Cliff Lee of the Texas Rangers tonight in another Game 1 billed as a ‘pitcher’s duel.’ In Game 1 of the NLCS, Lincecum faced Roy Halladay of the Phillies and came out on top, leading the Giants to their 1st World Series appearance since 2002, when they lost to the LA Angels. Halladay had tossed a perfect game earlier this season, and tossed a no-hitter in the 1st post-season game he ever pitched.

Lincecum got off to a slow start, falling into a 2-0 hole by the end of the 2nd inning. He buckled down and retired 13 of 15 batters he faced. He faltered in the 6th inning, but left with an 8-4 lead.

Wait a minute! Eight San Francisco runs? Against Cliff Lee? That’s right, Lee was due for an off game and the Giants took advantage of it. Freddy Sanchez (who was in the Red Sox system for a short while, and also won a batting title while he was with the Pirates) led the attack going 4/5, 3 of those hits were doubles, 3 RBIs and 2 runs scored. Of the Giants 14 hits against Lee and the Rangers, 6 were doubles, and 1 was a 3 run homer by Juan Uribe. O’Day came into the game in relief of Lee. I was hoping for the Giants’ PA system to blare the “Dayo” from the Harry Belafonte ‘Banana Boat Song’, but did not hear it.

It was a sloppy game at times, the Giants committed 2 errors, while the Rangers committed 4 errors, 2 of them by Vladimir Guerror, who was doing his absolute best Manny Ramirez fielding impersonation. Vlad looked absolutely lost in space in right field tonight. Juan Uribe and Edgar Rentaria both had some great fielding plays in the game. Ian Kinsler gets the ‘dumb ass award’ for turning towards 2nd base on an infield hit which 1st baseman Aubrey Huff bobbled. Huff got up and tagged Kinsler out, who was looking like a deer caught in the headlights.

Random Thoughts

The Giants have been playing a LOT of 1 run games, with ‘torture’ being the buzz word of their season. They ran up leads of 8-2 and 11-4, but gave up 3 runs in the top of the 9th. Torture, indeed. Brian Wilson and Sergio Romo are sporting some serious roughage on their faces, and have been joined by pitchers Jeremy Affeldt and Javier Lopez, but theirs are not so prominent. Giants’ fans in the house were sporting a lot of beards, with ‘Fear the Beard’ being the motto of Bruce Bochy’s ‘misfits’, as he likes to call them. This does remind me of the shaggy Red Sox ‘idiots’ of the 2004 season. I’m seeing a lot of players with one arm long sleeve shirts under their uniforms a la Jacoby Ellsbury. The Giants scored 19 runs in the NLCS and 11 runs in just 1 game of this World Series so far. Buster Posey, catcher for the Giants, is likely to win the NL Rookie of the Year Award. He went to the same university as J.D. Drew and myself- Florida State University. Bengie Molina, catcher for the Rangers, will get a World Series ring if the Rangers win or lose this Series, as he was traded from the Giants to the Rangers earlier this year. White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen was working the pre and post game shows and had his usual motor mouth running with some good zingers, too many for me to remember. NLCS MVP Cody Ross hammered 2 home runs off of Roy ‘Doc’ Halladay. Cody Ross spelled backwards- ‘Ssory Doc’, (Sorry, Doc.) Tim Lincecum has beaten 2 of Major League Baseball’s finest pitchers in this years post-season play- Halladay and Lee. Pablo Sandoval hit .330 last year for the Giants, but fell to .268 this year, losing his starting 3B position to Juan Uribe. With Uribe playing a solid 3B, (SS and 2B, too), I am wondering if he is on Theo’s radar to replace Adrian Beltre. Maybe a change of scenery for Pablo will pump his BA back up? McCovey Cove behind AT&T Park’s right field was packed with boats. I’m thinking of renting a boat and having 1 of my bands play out there. Let’s make that ‘dreaming’, not ‘thinking.’

 Fear the Beards

Cliff Lee to the Yankees?

I think not. The Yankee’s will be pulling up with wheelbarrows full of cash on his doorstep, but Lee’s wife was not too keen on Yankee fan’s behavior for starters. Their home in Arkansas is only a 40 minute flight to the Ranger’s ball park. I say he stays with the Rangers.

Giants 11 Rangers 7 BOX SCORE


Even More Fun from AT&T Park

Steve Perry and 43,000 fans "Don't Stop Believin'"

Thursday, October 28, 2010

You think Pap is eccentric?

We've seen Jonathan Papelbon smokin' fat cigars, wearin' a Budweiser box for a mask, playin' air broom guitar and we've seen him dancing a jig on the field sans uniform pants. The Giants aren't the Red Sox, or even the Yankees. They've pretty much flown under the radar falling behind in the NL West only to claw back into their division race and win it on the final day of the season while not too many baseball fans outside of the San Francisco Bay Are were paying much attention. Once the Giants made it past Atlanta in the NLDS, I'm sure people around the country were asking themselves about closer Brian Wilson, "Who is this guy?"

This is no Beach Boy, but there is a post on the Giants' web site that may enlighten you just a bit, but make sure you watch to the end of the video in the post.

Book Review: “Fifty-nine in ’84,” by Edward Achorn

Edward Achorn digs deep into the earliest accounts of the origins of baseball, going all the way back to similar games brought to America by the Puritans in the 17th century. The game of baseball pre-dates the Abner Doubleday and Alexander Cartwright claims, and is a variation of the British game of ‘rounders.’  He covers the evolution of the game through the 19th century. If a player from that era were to be transported to a ball game in this century, he might be overwhelmed by the size of the park, the manicured field grass, and the equipment used, but he would have no problem playing the game. The infield dimensions are the same. The pitcher still throws a ball to the catcher, the umpire calls balls and strikes, the batter attempts to hit the ball, and if he makes contact with the ball, he knows where to run. Fielders make every attempt to catch the ball and return the ball to the infield, whether to put a base runner out, or to get the ball back to the pitcher, and so forth.

Baseball rules in the 19th century were similar to those of the game played today, but what was different was most notably the equipment used by players, or rather the lack of equipment. Players, including catchers, did not use gloves or mitts. There was only one umpire and he was stationed behind the catcher. Neither catcher nor umpire wore helmets, face masks, or chest protectors. Since there was only one umpire, who was paying most of his attention to the balls being pitched in front of him, base runners and fielders took advantage of that situation to engage in deception such as cutting the ball, spitting on the ball, tripping base runners, base runners intentionally colliding with fielders in the hopes of jarring the ball loose or causing the fielder to err in his throw, and hiding the ball, etc., whenever the opportunity arose. Pitchers did not throw from a mound, but from inside a field level box similar to the box in which a batter stands.

When I started reading the book, I was more or less expecting a dry literary equivalent of a TV docu-drama, but I quickly realized that the book was drawing me into a great and true story of one man’s challenge of being the ace of a pitching staff that normally carried only two pitchers. If a pitcher was having an unusually bad day in the box, he did not head to the showers (not that they were made available), he did not take a seat on the bench. More often than not, he would swap positions with a fielder who had some ability to get the ball over the plate. Roster size was typically limited to 14 players in an attempt by club owners to keep payroll expenses as low as possible, (another aspect of the game that hasn’t changed.)

“Fifty-nine in ‘84” tells the story of Charles “Old Hoss” Radbourn and his remarkable season as a pitcher with the Providence Grays, one of eight teams in the National League. The book closely follows Radbourn’s amazing 1884 season in which he pitched 678.2 innings, and compiled a won-loss record of 59-12, with a 1.38 ERA, while leading the Grays to a regular season won-loss record of 84-28 before winning the 1884 World Series. In a 1916 poll of major league managers, including John McGraw and Connie Mack, the majority of them voted Radbourn’s 1884 season as the greatest feat in the game’s history.

Radbourn was born and raised in Illinois and did not particularly care for living in Providence, but was tied to the team by the reserve clause, as well as his love for the mysterious Carrie Stanhope, who ran a boarding house in Providence. In a subtle display of his displeasure with Providence, the owner, and the rules binding him to one team, he extends the middle digit of one hand during team photos. The Providence Grays folded after the 1884 season and sold Radbourn to the rival Boston Red Stockings.

Achorn relates Radbourn’s amazing campaign and his relationship with Stanhope, while painting a detailed picture of baseball, and of life, in the 19th century of both ball players and fans alike. Any true baseball fan with an interest in the early history of the game should read this book.

As an aside, I recall my father telling me a story of him going to see the Providence Grays play the New York Yankees in Providence in 1927 as a 9 year old boy. By this time, with Providence being a market too small for a major league team, the Grays had become a minor league team. In the early years of professional baseball, it was not uncommon for team owners to schedule exhibition games in as many holes in their schedules as possible in order to generate more revenue. The player/manager of the Grays pulled the pitcher in the 9th inning of that game as Babe Ruth would be coming to bat. With perhaps a wink and a nudge, the manager tossed his pitch right down the middle of the plate allowing the Babe to hit a crowd pleasing home run.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Giants Have Won the Pennant!

Texas Rangers are on their way to their 1st World Series!

And the Yankees are checking out tee times. As a diehard Red Sox fan, I did not want to see the Yankees on their way to yet another World Series. The Yankee fan with whom I am in 3 bands also happens to be a San Francisco Giants fan and pointed out that the Giants might fare better against the Yankees, as Rangers’ catcher Bengie Molina knows the Giants’ pitching staff all too well. Nonetheless, I remain steadfast in my loyalty to any team who plays against the Yankees.

The Rangers took the ALCS deciding game tonight, beating the Yankees 6-1, and took the series 4 games to 2 to win their 1st ever American League Championship.

Giants next to qualify?

I still have no idea why I have been a Giants fan since the late 60’s, so the only thing left to make this season complete (short of going back in time and pulling all the Red Sox players out of the lineup in which they were injured), is for the Giants to beat Philadelphia tomorrow night. The Phillies most recently have been to the World Series in 2008 and 2009, beating Tampa Bay in 2008. I maintain, along with most of the rest of SF Bay Area baseball fans, that this is the year that the San Francisco Giants finally win a World Series. The last time the Giants won a World Series was in 1954, when they were the New York Giants. They are suffering the 3rd longest World Series championship drought, behind the Cubs and the Indians, so why not the Giants this year?

Are you wondering who that was singing at the 7th inning stretch last night?

In the 'Only in San Francisco Department' comes this post from Kevin Kaduk of Big League Stew on the vocalist performing 'God Bless America' during the 7th inning stretch in last night's Phillies at Giants game.

A-Rod said what?

Here's the clip (via MLB.com writer Ian M. Browne):

"It's great. Any time you're playing for your life, these [games] are life or death, literally."

You can't make this stough up.

Who knew Bing Crosby was a taper?

Bing Crosby was part owner of the Pirates from 1946 until he died in 1977. Not being able to calm himself during the 1960 World Series which pitted Pittsburgh against the New York Yankees, he took off for Europe with his wife and had a company record game #7 of that Series by kinescope.

That game, if you recall, was at old Forbes Field. The score of that game flip-flopped several times, only to have the Yankees tie it once more in the top of the 9th inning. Bill Mazeroski led off the bottom of the 9th and hit the 2nd pitch he saw into the stands for a walk-off home run to win the Series for Pittsburgh.
Five reels in cans marked ‘1960 World Series’ were recently found in pristine condition in his wine cellar. The 16mm film has been transferred to DVD and will be aired this winter on the MLB network and will be hosted by Bob Costas.

Read the full story here.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

How well do you know Mike Lowell?

NESN.com has a Mike Lowell trivia contest thay they put up on their web site yesterday. Test your knowledge of Mike Lowell trivia.

Mike will be truly missed on the Fenway Park playing field next year. Here's one more last look at some great photos during his tenure in Boston.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Cancer Sucks Band at the Rock and Sox Benefit

Last summer, when the Red Sox were visiting the Giants in San Francisco, Fenway West and The Connecticut Yankee hosted the 1st (hopefully*) Annual Rock and Sox Benefit for The Jimmy Fund and The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. It took a while to get all the music from recording engineer Robert Cogswell who donated his time to drive down to San Francisco, set up his gear, and then remix the recordings on his own time. MA native, Red Sox fan, and noted Bay Area photographer Susan J. Weiand drove up from San Jose and donated her time to shoot the photos and then process them in the middle of her busy and hectic summer concert season, again, on her own time. I’ve received the music, photos, and video and have them posted on The Cancer Sucks Band web site. The Cancer Sucks Band has a Facebook page, too.The total came to $1251 raised. While short of our ambitious goal, the benefit was deemed a success by patrons, musicians, Matt of Fenway West, Mike at Dana-Farber, and Fritz, owner of The Connecticut Yankee.

*As the 2011 schedule stands right now, the Red Sox play Toronto at home on Monday, April 18th, and then play the Oakland A’s on Tuesday, April 19th, and Wednesday, April 20th, the only 2 games they have scheduled in Oakland for the entire 2011 season. On Wednesday, they take off for Anaheim. I’ll be keeping an eye on the schedule for any revisions. Game times have not been announced yet. Once that happens, I’ll be able to assess the situation better.

We had a video camera on a tripod for a couple of songs. The web site has photos and most of the music from the show. Here’s 'Dirty Water':

The 2010 Cancer Sucks Band: Pat Nevins, guitar & vocals; Dave Stein, guitar & vocals; Mike Chase, keyboards; Jeff Faust, bass guitar; Mark Corsolini, drums & vocals; and yours truly Sonoma Dave Maciel on drums, vocals, and haircut.

There is plenty of enjoyable baseball goin’ on right now!

Even though the Red Sox did not reach the playoffs this year, there are still some good games being played in the post season. Fr’instance, take a look at the box score of the Rangers-Yankees game that just ended, and you won’t feel so bad about the Sox missin’ out. For the recap of the game, click here.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

This is not a Yankee-Red Sox fan fight

There have been plenty of Red Sox and Yankee fan fights, and Red Sox and Rays fan fights, but this one rivals any we’ve seen on youtube. It’s not all that particularly extended or violent, but it is notable as it happened at the U.S. Open tennis match at Arthur Ashe Stadium. A fight between fans at a genteel tennis tournament? This doesn’t sound right until you note that the stadium is in Queens, NY. I wouldn’t be surprised if the younger male with the foul mouth is a Yankee fan. In this day and age of instant video posting, cell phone cameras were whirring and whizzing catching the altercation as it unfolded. You should probably turn off the volume for the 2nd video if you’re at work, or if you have small children nearby, as that younger male drops several f-bombs.

Go Giants! Former Sox in the NLDS, Cox retires, and Youk’s beard has a rival

I’ve been a Red Sox fan from at least 1967, but for some strange reason, one that I’ve never discovered; my NL team was the San Francisco Giants. Fast forward 40+ years and I find myself living in Giants country. And my 1st game ever was at old Forbes Field in Pittsburgh. Go figure.

Anyhow, they beat the Atlanta Braves today, eliminating them from the playoffs, along with their giant of a manager, Bobby Cox. Cox is retiring after this season, with 2,504 wins, and winning 1 of 5 trips to the World Series. After the game was over, Cox came back out of the dugout to tip his hat to the fans. The Giants players also came out of the visitor’s dugout to add to the ovation. Cox’s win total places him 4th on the all time managers most managers list.

The Giants will be playing the Phillies in the NLCS with Roy Halladay taking the hill for the Phillies. Halladay pitched a no hitter in his 1st ever post-season game and also tossed a perfect game this season as well. 2 time NL Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum will pitch for the Giants. This game has potential to be one of the greatest post-season pitcher’s duels ever.

Playing in the game tonight were several familiar names. I posted earlier this season about Edgar Rentaria, Javier Lopez and Ramon Ramirez playing for the Giants this year. Taking a look at the Brave’s roster, we see Alex Gonzalez, Eric Hinske, and Derek Lowe. The usual defensive minded Gonzalez committed a crucial error allowing the tying run to score tonight.

Derek Lowe was spinning a gem into the 6th inning. In the 7th inning, he recorded one out before issuing a walk and a single, prompting Cox to go to his bullpen. Lowe somehow managed to talk Cox into letting him remain in the game. Lowe loaded the bases with a 5 pitch walk, but this time there would be no convincing Cox to stay in the game. Reverse Grady Little Syndrome? Lowe lost both of the NLDS games, yet still managed to finish with a 2.31 ERA in this series.

But the last player on that list, Eric Hinske, has been to the post-season playoffs with 4 different teams- Red Sox, Rays, Yankees, and now the Braves. Trade Papelbon for the good luck charm? The Braves will need a closer, maybe Theo can raid their farm, too? (Don’t mind me, I’m just ramblin'.)

Brian Wilson (not the Beach Boy) is the closer for the Giants. His recent face bush rivals that of our own Kevin Youkilis and his ‘Beard of Truth.’ I don’t recall if he had it when I went to see the Cubs @ Giants game back in August. (Then again it was Jerry Garcia night and I was sitting in the Deadhead section. I don’t remember, so I must’ve been there. That reminds me, I’m overdue on a post about that night. I’m getting confused, so I’m just gonna let the music play.)

I’ll let you decide.

The 2010 season may have ended for the Red Sox...

... but we'll have more to post over the winter. Now that the Sox season is over, it's time to address other projects around here that are not related to baseball (therefore the lull in the posting activity lately.)

There are still some games going on (hopefully not many Yankees games left.) I know I'll be opining with posts on hot button topics such as maple bats and umpire accountability, book reviews*, box scores from the past, maybe even some cheesecake photos, (but I'll have to check with the editor about that first.) Before you know it the Hot Stove winter meetings will be taking place. And I think there are only about 130 days left before pitchers and catchers report. (Maybe Big Papi should report a month early?) Who will still be with the Sox, who will be new with the Sox, the list goes on, so be sure to check back in with us.

*First up will be "Fifty-nine in '84", by Edward Achorn, the story of Charles 'Old Hoss' Radbourn, who won 59 games for the Providence Grays in 1884.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Bienvenue en Belgique!

Je voudrais savoir comment le lien vers mon blog Red Sox, "Red Sox Sonoma" est venu d'avoir son lien sur votre site Web. Je ne suis pas fâché, simplement curieux et flatté, ainsi. En tout état de cause, s'il vous plaît n'hésitez pas à passer par tout temps, et poster des commentaires en anglais ou en français.

I would like to know how the link to my Red Sox blog, "Red Sox Sonoma" came to have its link posted on your website. I am not angry, just curious, and flattered, as well. In any event, please feel free to stop by anytime, and post comments in English or French.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Playoff no-no!

Roy Halladay pitched a no-hitter for the Philadelphia Phillies today in game 1 of the NLDS against the Cincinnati Reds today, becoming only the 2nd pitcher to toss a no-hitter in a post-season game. Don Larsen is the only other pitcher to accomplish that feat in the 1956 World Series. Larsen's game was a perfect game.

In other playoff games today, the Rangers beat the Rays 5-1, while the Twins-Yankees game is still under way.

Kevin Cash on Terry Francona's job performance this year

From ESPN, Kevin Cash had this to say about Tito's job performance this year:
"Terrible. Terrible job," Cash said with a smile. "Coming into the season, with this team healthy, we would expect to be playing on Wednesday. Given the injuries this team dealt with -- not that it's an excuse or anything -- for what he got out of the players that probably there was no expectation to get some of those numbers or production out of those players, it speaks for him, just because he makes everybody comfortable."

"It's Tito's job -- once the ship starts sinking -- to make it right and make them believe they're going to be in there every day and we're going to need them to produce," said Cash. "The calmness Tito brings every day, a lot of managers would be in that office with the door shut pulling out their hair. Well, he doesn't have any hair, but the way he acts relaxes the club enough to go out and play. He's awesome."

Four Days in October

ESPN will air another of its "30 for 30" film later today, 8 pm (ET), "Four Days in October, " which revisits the 2004 ALDS the Boston Red Sox and the most historic comeback by any team in pro sports, when they were down 3-0 against the New York Yankees, and then went on to win the next 4 games to become the AL pennant winners. Curt Schilling revisits those 4 games and offers his review of the show. There are 4 trailers on the ESPN page referred to in the link. Here's one of them

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Ben Mondor, owner of Pawtucket Red Sox, RIP

Ben Mondor passed away peacefully last night at his home at 85 years old. He purchased the PawSox in 1977. I knew the area well. McCoy Stadium used to be a dump, but he turned into a world class minor league stadium. I've had the pleasure of covering 2 games from the press box there. I was treated with respect by all the employees who were very polite and courteous, a sign of a well run organization. I'm sure Ben willed be missed by the baseball community in addition to his family and all those who knew him

A bittersweet ending, cont.

Perhaps winning the final game and series of the season against the Yankees offered some relief from the 2010 season, but there are other issues that must be addressed now that the season is over too early. Derek Jeter once declared that a previous Yankee season was a total waste because they did not make it to the World Series. A season is never a waste. The Red Sox won 89 games with well over 1000 player games lost to the disabled list. 89 games were won with a patchwork quilt of a roster full of rookies and journeymen. I call that a successful season, not a perfect season, but still a success.

But now we turn to the off season…

Beltre, Ortiz, Martinez, Varitek, Papelbon, Okajima, Wakefield, Ellsbury, Cameron, Lowell

What will become of these vaulted players?

Beltre will most likely follow the money trail. While he had a monster of a season, most speculate that he will not produce anywhere near the level he did in 2010 for Boston. If he walks, then Theo will need to find a big bat for either the 1B or the 3B positions. Lars Anderson isn’t quite ready, but he got a good taste of the big leagues, as did Nava, Kalish, and Reddick.

Carl Crawford has been named as a target for the Red Sox for the outfield in 2011. Drew, Ellsbury, Cameron and Crawford make for a crowded outfield, especially when you have Ryan Kalish almost ready to make the jump to the big leagues permanently. My guess is Theo will hold onto Kalish, but Nava, despite his storybook splash into the 2010 season, could be gone. Bill Hall was super-utility man, playing in all but the catcher and 1st baseman’s positions. He even led the pitching staff in the ERA and WHIP categories after pitching a 1-2-3 9th inning this year. Darnell McDonald had a great storybook splash into 2010, homering in his 1st at bat, and then driving in the winning run with a walk off single later in that game. I see both Hall and McDonald heading for other pastures.

Will Theo retain the services of Big Papi with the current option? Will he renegotiate that contract? Or will he let him walk?

Victor Martinez has been declared a priority by Theo, but will the 2 be able to find a common ground in terms of dollars and length of contract, particularly the length? If Martinez is retained, then what will happen to Jason Varitek with Jarrod Saltalamacchia chomping at the bit? Could Salty land in Pawtucket?

The bullpen will be a huge concern over the winter. Okajima turned into a big disappointment before his stint on the DL, prompting some to think that the Red Sox would non-tender him, only to see his post DL performance improve considerably. Will Theo trade for new relievers, or will Bowden, Coello, Doubront, Richardson and Manuel be in the mix? Tim Wakefield wants to return next year, but clearly we knew he wasn’t happy in the bullpen. The current pitching rotation suggests that he would still be in the bullpen for 2011, but there have been suggestions that Dice-K might waive his no-trade clause if he were to be traded to a west coast team, closer to his homeland. That would open up a starting pitcher slot. Wakefield is a bargain, and will chew up innings. His bargain price tag will free up dollars needed for other players on the wish list. And he will pitch better as a regular starter.

And what of Papelbon? He set his own bar so high in 2007 so as to not ever reach it again, all the while strutting like a peacock, determined to raise the salary bar for closers. Will he be humbled enough from his poor 2010 season? Will he still demand $13 million for 2011? His trade value certainly has dropped. Will Theo use his services for 1 more year before letting him walk? Or will he dangle him as trade bait despite saying he’s not going anywhere this winter? He said ‘winter,’ not spring. Will Pap be dealt before next year’s trade deadline? Is Bard ready to be the closer? In any event, the bullpen will be overhauled, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Pap wasn’t in Boston come April.

The 2 biggest season ending stories are those of Lowell and Varitek. Jason Varitek has played his entire career in Boston. Seeing him in a different uniform would be like seeing Jeter or Mo in different uniforms in 2011. (It will be very interesting to see what the Yankees offer Jeter.) ‘Tek clearly thrived in his role as back-up catcher while mentoring Martinez. Martinez stepped up his defensive game as the season wore on as a result of being under ‘Tek’s tutelage. Yes, baseball is a business now, but it still would be heartbreaking to not see ‘Tek on the roster come April.

Mike Lowell will always be remembered fondly by Red Sox fans. After his career season in 2007, after he had played in 307 games in the previous 2 seasons, he fell to the injury plague and did not play in more than 119 games in 2008 or 2009. He production was still of quality, but his limited playing time due to injuries caused concern in the front office. Unable to complete any trades with Mike, he was forced into an uncomfortable position of being on the bench this year, ‘chewing up a position on the roster,’ practically begging to be released or traded. After taking his turn on the DL, he returned to hit a home run in his 1st at bat, one of several memorable home runs hit by Sox players this year. I was so hoping that Tito would honor Mike by starting him at 3B in the last game. I don’t know any of the details as to how ‘Mike Lowell Day’ ended up on Saturday, a day in which the game was broadcast on Fox, not NESN, and I don’t know if Mike took it as a slap in the face, but he took the high road, as he has always done.

2010 is all wrapped up, but despite finishing in 3rd place with 89 wins, there are plenty of memorable moments to revisit, which we will do in upcoming posts.

A bittersweet ending

The Red Sox finished their 2010 season today with a win over their archrival New York Yankees, not only winning the last game of the season 8-4, but also winning this last series as well. Although the Sox suffered an enormous amount of players to the disabled list, they persevered in a wild card chase until the final week of the season. They persevered with a long list of rookies and aging journeymen in a testament to the solid foundation that the Red Sox FO has constructed in the past decade.

John Lackey turned in a brilliant performance: 7.2 IP, 6 hits, 3 runs (2 earned), 2 walks, 10 strikeouts. Let’s hope that this is the Lackey that shows up in spring training. Hill came in and gave up a hit and a walk before Bard came and got the last out of that inning for his 32nd hold. Papelbon came in to pitch the 9th inning and allowed 1 hit, 1 walk and 1 run before retiring the side. (My evil twin was secretly hoping that Pap would blow this game as well.)

Jed Lowrie led the offensive attack, drawing a walk, hitting 2 home runs, driving in 3 and scoring 3 times, as well. Big Papi went 3/3, JD Drew hit a homer and drove in 2 runs. Ryan Kalish went 1/4 driving in 1 and scoring once. Jason Varitek had a hit in what may become his last game in a Red Sox uni (god, I hope not!)

Unlike Yankee fans who consider anything less than 173 wins in one season a failure, I for 1 am proud that Red Sox still managed to win 89 games considering the obstacles that they had to overcome.

Sox 8 Yankees 4 BOX SCORE

Monday, October 4, 2010

Burnett was lost in space

Besides having another bad day on the mound, Burnett was lost in space, or who knows where on this play when Josh Reddick hit a routine ground ball to Yankee's 1st baseman, Lance Berkman. Berkman knocked the ball down, slid, picked up the ball and threw to Burnett who was running to cover 1st base. The throw was late and allowed Nava to get to 3rd base. Burnett then turned to the umpire in disbelief that the throw was late.

Meanwhile, Nava starts heading for home. Burnett had his back turned to 3rd and home while he was addressing the umpire and his call. A-Rod is yelling trying to get Burnett's attention. Once Burnett came back to earth, he threw wide to Cervelli, allowing Nava to score, and Reddick to get to 3rd base. Nava's run drew the Sox to within 1 run at the time.

You can watch the circus side show by clicking here.

That was one of the ster-RAN-gest line-ups we've ever seen, Sox win 7-6 in 10th

With the 2010 campaign winding down, Tito threw the rookies and the journeymen to the lions, as if this were 2011 auditions for the lot of them.

Patterson was 0/5 as he stepped to the plate, but ended up with a walk-off single to knock Bill Hall in for the winning run as he had just doubled and moved to 3rd on a sac bunt by Kevin Cash. Others doing well included Felipe Lopez who went 3/5, 1 RBI, 2 runs, 1 HR; Lars went 1/2, 1 walk, 1 RBI; Kalish went 2/3, 2 walks, 2 runs; Nava 2/3, 1 run, 1 RBI; and Bill Hall 1 hit and 1 run, the winning run. Josh Reddick didn't fare so well- 0/5, 9 LOB (ouch!)

On the pitching side, Dice-K may be trying to get himself moved to the west coast, as it has been suggested that he might waive his no-trade clause in order to be closer to his native Japan. His line is not too pretty: 5 IP, he struck out 6 Yankees, but 3 hits and 5 walks led to 4 runs. But 104 pitches? That's a lot for 5 innings. Atchison failed, Okajima inherited 3 of Atchison's men on base and allowed only 1 in, otherwise it was a good performance, not great, but just good. Robert Manuel went 2 innings and got the win.

AJ Burnett turned in another unsatisfactory performance, Cano went 3/3, but the Yankees committed 4 errors in this game! And they had most of thier usual starters in the line-up.

Sox win game 2 of the double-header. The Sox will fall short of the 90 win mark even when they win tomorrow, but how many AAA teams could win this many games, 88 to date, in the AL East?
Sox 7 Yankees 6 BOX SCORE

Oh my achin' back!

No Red Sox game on tube here... yard work... Yanks at Sox on Game Day... Padres at Giants on Fox (Fox, ugh)... Sox up 2-0! Yay!... Zito walks in 2 runs... (grumble, grumble)... yard work (cont.)... Uh-oh, 5-3 Yanks... Damn! Padres 4, Giants 0... more yard work... Must post recap... back hurts... must post line-up... Red Sox AND Giants, my NL team since late '60's, but my AL and MLB team is and always be Red Sox... both lose... water... water... Yanks take game 1 in of double header 10 innings... water...

Sox 5 Yankees 6 BOX SCORE

Oh no, already Dice-K gives up a run... but Burnett (garbage) gives 1 right back!

Game 2 Red Sox line-up
Patterson, E- 2B:
Lopez, F- 3B
Drew, JD- DH
Anderson, L- 1B
Kalish, R- CF
Nava, D- LF
Reddick, J- RF
Navarro, Y- SS
Cash, K- C

Matsuzaka, D- SP

Red Sox - Yankees Line-ups 10.02.10 Game 1

Red Sox:
McDonald, D- CF
Lowrie, J- SS
Martinez, V- C
Ortiz, D- DH
Lowell, M- 1B
Hall, B- LF
Nava, D- LF
Navaro, Y- 3B
Lopez, F- 2B
Wakefield, T- SP

Jeter, D- SS
Granderson, C- CF
Teixeira, M- 1B
Rodriguez, A- DH
Cano, R- 2B
Swisher, N- RF
Posada, J- C
Gardner, B- LF
Pena, R- 3B

Pettitte, A- SP

Game Time- 4:10 pm (EDT)/1:10 pm (PDT)

Red Sox - Yankees game postponed; Notes on Beltre, Buchholz, Lowell & Wakefield

Tonight's Yankees v. Red Sox game has been postponed, From RedSox.com:

Friday's game vs. the Yanks was postponed due to rain and will be rescheduled as part of a twin bill Saturday. Tickets for Friday's game will be honored for the 9:05 p.m. ET game.

Weather.com forecasts sunny weather with temperatures in the 60's for Saturday, which will be 'Mike Lowell Day' at Fenway Park. The 1st game will be one of Fox's 'Game of the Week.' The other 'Game of the Week' will be the Padres against the Giants in San Francisco, so it is highly unlikely the Sox game will be broadcast on the west coast.

Adrian Beltre has been allowed to leave the team to go home in southern California to be with his wife who is about to give birth to their 3rd child. Clay Buchholz has been scratched from tomorrow's game. Tim Wakefield will be making the start instead.

The final Rally Against Cancer tally for 2010

The 2010 Rally Against Cancer for the benefit for The Jimmy Fund and The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute campaign came to a close yesterday, and I am proud to say that Fenway West's Rock and Sox fundraiser in June featuring The Cancer Sucks Band when the Red Sox played the Giants here in San Francisco finished in the top 50 fundraising groups. We finished with a total of $1130, which does not include the last 2 signed balls which were put up for auction on eBay, and would bring the total to an unofficial amount of $1251. We at Fenway West are very grateful for all those who made a donation to these very worthy organizations. We look forward to turning this into a yearly event. As soon as the 2011 MLB schedules become official, we will start to plan the next event. Thank you from of all of us at Fenway West!

Tha Cancer Sucks Band for 2010:
Dave Stein- guitar, vocals
Pat Nevins- guitar, vocals
Jeff Faust- bass guitar, vocals
Mike Chase- keyboards, vocals
Mark Corsolini- drums, vocals
David Maciel- drums, vocals
Sam Flot- spoken word, MC
and special guest:
Stu Allen, guitar, vocals