Reality Check for Mr. Burkett

Last year John Burkett considered boycotting the All Star game if selected. This year he is considering if he’ll have a job at the All Star break……

I actually give John Burkett credit for managing to win over 160 major league games on his guile and very little talent. He’s walked a fine line thoughout his time with the Red Sox. But now the tight rope is getting thinner and thinner while the team is working hard to raise it to another level.

John Burkett must have noticed that Person threw over 60 pitches last night, he sees that Person has stuff and that Grady appears to be “stretching” him out. Person could have his pitch count up to 100 in two or three more outings. Burkett may also have noticed that BK Kim will be starting “at least” until Pedro gets back. Maybe he’ll be starting a little longer at the expense of our aging junkballer.

John Burkett is pitching in the last year of his career, perhaps he’ll be “retiring” a tad sooner than we expected. We can all hope, at least….

Hoss speaks

It’s very simple. The Sox needed to sacrifice some offense to get some pitching. Pedro is on the DL. Lowe is struggling and is back in Boston for more surgery on his nose. The overall sox pitching staff has been erratic at best. The future of the sox infield is Hanley Ramirez, Sanchez, Youkilis, and Shoppach. They were able to keep all of these prospects and still land one of the top relievers in the NL from the last couple years. Kim is 24 and had 36 saves, 8 wins, and a 2.04 ERA last year. He instantly adds flexibility to the sox pitching staff. I hate to see Hillenbrand go, but he was the best piece to give up at this point. Hoss has spoken.

Hilly gone

So it is a done deal. In my opinion, a FANTASTIC trade. Kim can help in a lot of ways this year; and be in the rotation for a while to come. While Shea is a nice little ballplayer; I’ve always believed he is a tad overrated. There is beucoup analysis all over the web, so I won’t bore you with why I like it…not that my opinion really matters much anyway.

Have a great weekend…I’m off to the Jersey Shore in the morning.

Tough one…

Call me an apologist, however…that is as close to a win as you can get while still losing. Yes; that was a terrible call on Lyon’s 2-2 pitch…but Rivera also got semi-jobbed in the top half. If you go back to my May 22 post, you’ll see how I was somewhat prophetic about Rivera. Here is the ‘best’ part of the Yanks pen; and he got smoked. Makes you feel just a little better as a Sox fan.

By the way, I don’t get walking the bases loaded in the bottom of the 9th.

Sox players worried about SARS. They should be more worried about a hot Blue Jay team.

In Yankeeland, Contrares makes an appropriate comparison of Steinbrenner and Castro. And it looks like Torre is getting annoyed at his boss.

Anyway; off day today..and on to Toronto for the weekend. I’m away from Friday to Sunday, so don’t expect any updates from me. I am adding two new authors to the front page since the bulletin board appears to be on life support. Feel free to add your own comments after each post. So welcome Hoss and Fanatic to the front page of…

Pride cometh…

…before the fall.

For the past few days, to listen to NY radio or read NY papers, it was a virtual certainty that Clemens would get his 300th yesterday vs. the Sox. Apparantly, Clemens also really belived the hype.

As Clemens stalked and snorted his way to the pitcher’s mound for what he believed would be a historic afternoon at Yankee Stadium, something large and white shone from his black glove.

It was a commemorative patch, one to honor his 300th major league victory.

“The thing that was funny about it was it had MLB on it,” Torre said after the Red Sox had blown away Clemens and his Yankees, 8-4. “It was an approved thing.”

Actually, Joe, the hoot was that the Red Sox challenged the patch, the umpires forced Clemens to change gloves and, after allowing eight runs in 52/3 innings, the Rocket still had 299 wins. JACOBS

I suggest reading the whole column; it is obvious that Jacobs is no fan of Clemens’.

The way the game was won was perfect. They were patient, and they made him work. I haven’t looked it up; but I bet it has been a while since Clemens threw 130+ pitches (or gave up 8 runs for that matter). Looks like there is a tiny bit of angst in the Yankee locker room:

Manager Joe Torre often refers to a dreadful stretch the Yankees experienced in September 2000 when they lost 15 of 18 games and referred to it again Monday. Torre reminded everyone that the Yankees rebounded from that slump and went on to win the World Series. Jeter can’t deny that, but sees no relevance to what is happening now.

“This is a new team,” Jeter said. “Everybody wants to make comparisons, but we’re not the same team. We have different people, different personnel. You can talk about coming back from adversity in other years, but this group hasn’t done it.” O’CONNELL

Oh, by the way…the Blue Jays are 1.5 games behind the Yanks. Could be an interesting race this summer…

Still in first..

I haven’t watched much in the past two days; and as I look out the window and at the weather, I’m guessing Roger’s shot at 300 isn’t going to happen today. Unless they wait for it to be a night game…

Quiet bats, and some good news…

Except for Todd Walker and Bill Mueller (and one swing of Nomar’s), the Sox bats were uncharacteristically quiet last night. Clemens gets 299; but not easily. He goes for 300 vs. the Sox on Monday.

Couple bits of good news. Pedro seems like he will be fine for his next start:

He was upbeat as he walked around the clubhouse Wednesday. His mood is usually a good barometer of his health. HEUSCHKEL

Nomar extended his hitting streak with that homer. In 22 games, he has gotten a hit in his first AB 11 times. I wonder how many of those games that was his ONLY hit. However, while in my opinion this hitting streak started out ugly (a lot of 1-fers in it), Nomar seems to be hitting better as of late…it’ll be nice to see a reduction in pop-ups. And while I didn’t consider this great news last night; I guess they were happy with Seanez’s performance. In hindsight; the RBI double Ventura had was a very wierd hit…so I guess if he really is topping out at 96 like it says this morning, maybe he can help.

One other bit of decent news: Am I the only Sox fan that doesn’t have the same sense of doom when Rivera comes into a game anymore? He had a helluva run, but it just isn’t the Rivera of a couple years ago. Used to be I would basically turn the TV off when he came in, he wa so automatic. Methinks that isn’t the case anymore…

All’s well…

…that ends well.

I’m sure the Yankee locker room got a big confidence boost yesterday afternoon when they heard that Bruce Chen was starting. Hopefully this little twinge will mean just the one start for Pedro:

“The results of the MRI were positive for us – positive meaning good,” general manager Theo Epstein said. “It’s really the best possible news. We’re going to be cautious. So I guess we’re cautiously optimistic. We’re going to evaluate him later this week and see how he feels. That will dictate his scheduled, when he makes his next start.” HEUSCHKEL

As for the game; another exciting come from behind (twice!) win. I have to admit; when I had it on the radio, and it was 1-0 after the first pitch… I was a tad nervous. And while I’m as happy as the next guy to see that the Sox pulled it out against Contreras; let’s not forget that the Sox really, really wanted this guy. So you can’t make fun of the Yanks for paying through the nose for him; at this point Sox Nation can do a collective ‘WHEW’ and be thankful for Steinbrenner’s meddling in the offseason.

Some clutch at bats for the Sox, and as a whole, the bullpen gets an ‘A’ for last night as there were no starters involved. Even Mendoza pitched a good inning (too bad that it was after a not-so-good one). And Lyon struck out 3 pretty good hitters in the 9th to get the save.

Wakes vs. Clemens tonight. Not sure if the weather is going to cooperate…

“Pedro, no problem”

Yankees right fielder Raul Mondesi said about his Dominican countryman, a comment that appeared to be tongue-in-cheek given their close friendship. HEUSCHKEL

As it is probably said in every article written about the game; first inning sucked; then Fossum was very good. Shades of Ramon Martinez…remember when he used to give up 4 or 5 in the first, and then settle down? Maybe after that performance last night, the Sox can stop treating Fossum with kid gloves and sheltering his ‘fragile psyche’.

An interesting bit from Clemens yesterday:

Rather than retire his No. 21, Roger Clemens would rather see the Red Sox pass it on, the way Notre Dame gives quarterbacks its fabled No. 3, or Syracuse gives No. 44 to star running backs.

“This town and this ballpark are always going to be a part of me,” Clemens said. “I worked here, I gave my all here, so that will never change. I tried to be here for my entire stay, but it didn’t work out and I wasn’t wanted. I’m fortunate that I am wanted now, and it’s a blessing.”AMORE/HEUSCHKEL

Sounds like sentimental comments by a guy approaching his ACTUAL ‘Twilight’. My stance on Roger has softened a bit in the past year or so; I still think he has his faults in the way he dealt with things; but it is high time that Sox fans put aside their grudges and remember what he actually did here.

So anyway, I actually went to the game. Turned out to be a last minute thing, with a friend and his wife and one other guy going. We had 4 in the same section, but not together. From around the 3rd inning on, we found a place where we could all sit. I have never sat in the left field grandst