A stroll down memory lane…

Word is that Kim will become the closer; possibly as of today…and that Mendoza will be in the rotation when he gets back. I really hope that is a temporary band-aid before making some kind of deal… 6/28/03

The Sox bullpen has pitched 13 1/3 innings without yielding an earned run after Brandon Lyon (two innings), Mike Timlin (one) and Chad Fox (one) preserved the 7-1 lead for Mendoza. Some players were saying privately that if there is a trade in the works, maybe it should be reconsidered. The chemistry is too good. CAFARDO
I don’t know if I’d go THAT far, fellas. While the only run Mendoza gave up was the homer to Wells in the first, he did look a little shaky the innings I saw. He must have settled down after I stopped watching, so that’s good. Anyway, on to Detroit.

Will the real Ramiro Mendoza please…
Oh, there you are! We’d missed you for a few weeks, nice to have you back.

I doubt I’ll even post tomorrow about this game I’m watching…except maybe about the fact that I think Mendoza should get the Appier treatment. 7/30/03

Since going into the Red Sox rotation July 5, Ramiro Mendoza has made five starts. The first two were good, the third was so-so and the last two have been doo-doo.

Mendoza probably would have agreed with that had he hung around instead of bolting after his horrible performance Wednesday night in a 9-2 loss to the Rangers at The Ballpark.

Team official Glenn Geffner checked the players’ lounge and all the other hiding places in the clubhouse. There was no sign of Mendoza.

“He’s long gone,” Geffner said. HEUSCHKEL

‘Nuf ced?

Todd Jones on the Media

Some spot on commentary from Todd Jones.

In Boston, there is a distinct line between the media and the players. To be honest, the media here is brutal. They are the most negative spin doctors I’ve run into. They make big deals out of nothing. One reporter goes in for an interview, and the next thing you know there are 35 around your locker asking the dumbest questions, such as, “Did you mean to give up that homer?” or “After this loss, is your team finished?”

In fact, in spring training, there are meetings about how to handle the media in Boston. Reporters here ask the same question six different ways. They figure you’re not smart enough to figure out they’re asking the same question, and you’ll answer it just to get them to leave you alone. They will ask the question like, “Do you think Player A or Player B should have caught the ball that cost you the game?” You give them Player A, and the headline says, “Jones says Player B didn’t hustle, cost Sox the game.” You’re like, “Huh? What just happened?”

The beat writers who are in the clubhouse all the time and are around the players all the time are just doing their jobs. They are the good guys — they have to be. If you burn a player, and he won’t talk to you, you can’t do your job.

I emphasize the last point, because I’ve said to people time and time again…if you want the best coverage of the Sox (and the Yankees, for that matter), read the Hartford Courant. They have an excellent beat writer covering each team, and they don’t have any axes to grind.

I doubt I’ll even post tomorrow about this game I’m watching…except maybe about the fact that I think Mendoza should get the Appier treatment.

Good times all around

I know one should expect the edge with the league’s best offense facing the league’s worst pitching…but that was ridiculous. Texas’ starter actually pitched pretty well, coming right at Manny and striking him out twice. But the story of the game is obviously Bill Mueller, who made history last night by hitting two grand slams, one from each side of the plate. Trot and Nomar also added a home run each, and David Ortiz had a couple more clutch hits when the game was actually still close.

In between Mueller’s grand slams, Theo hit one of his own by acquiring Scott Williamson without giving up anybody on the big club. There are some interesting scenarios to play out here….does he get added to the pen, making it arguably the best in the AL? Does he replace Kim as the closer, allowing BK to move back into the rotation? Maybe they will need to wait a couple days before deciding:

“We did not use all of our resources for this trade. That’s what I like about this deal, it leaves the door open for making another trade.”

The Yankees also made a trade, one that surprised me at least. Mondesi went to the Diamondbacks for a scrub outfielder and 2 minor league pitchers. What is amazing to me is the circumstances of the past few days that did NOT get into the NY papers (at least what I saw). Mondesi apparantly showered and left Fenway Sunday night when he was pinch hit for, and left the park before the game was over. He also did not fly with the team to Anaheim.

Can you imagine if this happened with a Boston player? Not only would it have been in Monday’s papers, it would have had 17 columns written about it and would have been the hot topic on Sunday night sports talk shows. Yet in this case, it wasn’t reported until after the fact. (I could be wrong here, but I read a bunch of NY papers Monday and yesterday and saw no mention of this.)

What this also tells us is that the Yankees really believe in locker room chemistry. Because when you look at it from a player standpoint, this trade probably doesn’t help the Yankees; it might actually hurt them (although I’m sure between now and tomorrow they will have figured out how to pry Vlad from the Expos).

But the bottom line is that so far, the Sox have outmaneuvered the Yanks when it comes to in season moves. By a long shot. That doesn’t guarantee that it will work to put them over the top…but at least so far, they have put themselves in a good position to do so.


Huge night for the Sox…they get Williamson from the Reds, and EXPLODE vs. the Rangers…Mueller with 3 HR, including 2 grand slams…one from each side of the plate.

Side note; I never watch ESPN much anymore…but tonight they are doing Sportcenter behind the scenes live..and it is FACINATING. A good friend of mine edits over at the Worldwide Leader…but this is good stuff. 3 windows, live audio with the production booth as well as the anchors…

A quick prediction and other stuff

Not really much to offer after an off day. Everyplace else has done to death Georgie-Porgie’s need to issue a ‘statement’ yesterday. Cry after tying one series, say ‘no big deal’ after losing one. Whatever…

Fossum was sent down yesterday to prepare to start the Opening Day makeup next Friday. Or, some might surmise that he was sent down to start to showcase him. I tend to think it is the former. Besides, the Sox have been carrying 12 pitchers all year…it can’t hurt to add a guy to the bench. In this case it is utility man Lou Collier, who can play OF and SS. Hitting .293 with 12 HR and 61 RBI in AAA.

Millar has another column on MLB.com. He heart Nomar and Nomar heart him:

He told me something pretty neat. He said, “when I’m at the All-Star Game, if I wear my pants up, that means I’m thinking about you”. Sure enough, at the All-Star Game, I didn’t think he’d wear them up and he did.

Not that there is anything wrong with that.

I’m guessing a 4-2 mini road trip here…2 of 3 in both places will be nice. Although a sweep in Baltimore would be even nicer, as I’ll be there for all 3.

A nice start..

As I lay my head on my pillow last night, content as can be, I was trying to remember the last time the Sox won a post All Star series from the Yanks. I was thinking it was probably the sweep in September of 99 that included the Pedro 17K masterpiece. Luckily for me, somebody at the Courant was thinking the same thing I was.

The last time the Red Sox won a second-half series from the Yankees was September 1999. Going into Sunday, the teams had played 20 second-half games since the 2000 All-Star break and the Yankees had won 16.

For some reason, even going into the 7th inning, I did not have the ‘here we go again’ sense that usually comes when the Sox play the Yankees and it is close in the late innings. And ironically, in the game chat, I posted that Hammond hadn’t been as bad for the Yankees as I thought he would have been when the season began. So you can all thank me for the jinx.

Yet the New York press is undaunted. 2 of 3 isn’t enough to declare an end to the race, for sure…but a little credit would be nice.

Nobody truly believes the Red Sox made any kind of permanent dent into this AL East race this weekend, even if they did win two of the three thrilling games that will leave New England hoarse for the rest of the week.

The Yankees certainly don’t believe that. And shouldn’t. VACCARO

I still believe the most important stretch of the season is mid August to early September with 17 games vs. the A’s, M’s, and Yanks. But a 7-4 homestand and a couple big wins against the division leader can be considered a good sign, no?

How many of you…

…were thinking this in the bottom of the 9th?:

“OK. so Mueller goes to 2nd, Ortiz goes to 1st, and who goes to third? Millar? Or does Millar go to 2nd? Can Kapler play any infield? Ah, hell with it. Ortiz needs to just win it right here!”

Two thrilling games in a row. I’ll bet tonight is 15-13. Here’s a fact that I was not aware of:

Going into Saturday, the Red Sox and Yankees had played 22 games that were decided by one run since the start of the 2000 season. The Yankees had won 15, including 13 of the last 17. HEUSCHKEL

While I was initially aghast at Nomar’s bunt attempt (although not nearly as much as Tim McCarver), in retrospect, it wasn’t a terrible idea. Especially when he noticed that the Yanks didn’t change infield position after he squared the first time. Had he gotten down a good one, it would have been a bunt hit.

Met fans gave a collective ‘I told you so’ yesterday afternoon. Check out the NY back pages:

Poor guy. A couple more of these and he will be strung up down there.

ESPN tonight, Lowe vs. Weaver. Here’s hoping we see the Weaver ‘almost crying’ face…

What would YOU do?

So it’s the 6th inning, the bases are loaded, there are 2 out, and the game is tied. The Yanks go to the time machine and roll out Jesse Orosco.


Do you let Johnny Damon bat? Or do you maybe bring a righty off the bench? If I know the splits, shouldn’t Grady?

Yes, there was bad umpiring. But that affected both teams. Yes, they tied it vs. Rivera. Yes, the Yanks scored off of Kim. But to me, the deciding move of the game was right there in the bottom of the 6th.

Now today we have to hope for a surprise; either Burkett is lights out or Mussina is not.

What a rotten way to start the weekend.

Will the real Ramiro Mendoza please…

Oh, there you are! We’d missed you for a few weeks, nice to have you back.

Actually, if you want to get technical, from the game I saw, the Sox won 6-3. When I finally sat in my seat it was 11-2, and when I left, it was 14-8. What a nightmare I had getting to the game today.

My plan was to park at Riverside, take the T to Charles St. to get my tickets, and then the T back to the park. Here’s a mini-diary of what actually happened.

11:30 Arrive at Riverside station exit, find a long line of cars to get to the station.

11:45 After barely moving in line, and seeing many cars turn around, I figure there is a problem. So when I get to the higway entrance, I head back towards Boston.

11:55 Get off Exit 18 and in line to go down Storrow drive. Finally get to Storrow Drive, and the Kenmore Square exit is backed up farther than I’ve ever seen it. So I decide to drive to Charles St. to get the tickets instead of parking and taking a quick train in.

12:05 Miss the turn for Charles St, go down Cambridge Ave and turn around. Miss the turn AGAIN and end up in Cambridge. Turn around again and get to Charles St. Miss the apartment, have to circle around and back down Cambridge to go to Charles and get the tickets.

12:30 Have the tickets, decide at this point I might as well get as near to the park as I can, so I head towards it.

12:55 While waiting to take a left onto Boylston, I tell my nephew “We’ll probably miss the first inning. We’re OK, though.”

01:15 First parking lot I use is full (I kind of expected that), Plan B is to circle around and park in the Staples garage. Must go extra distance, as last time I did this I got pulled over for making an illegal left.

01:40 Finally get to the Staples garage, there is a sign that says “No Ballgame Parking Today”. I’m ready to kill at this point.

01:50 Back onto Boylston going the other way, somebody gets out of a spot on the street. Car in front of me gets said spot.

02:10 Almost back at the intersection of Mass Ave, somebody pulls out of a spot on the street. I get the spot somehow. I only have $1.75 in quarters for the meter, so it will be running out around 4:00. At this point, they could give me a $100 ticket, and I wouldn’t care.

02:25 Finally settle into our seat, moments after Tampa Bay has hit a grand slam to go up 11-2.

03:50 After pulling to within 3, the Sox proceed to give up runs in the 9th. We decide to beat the traffic (I RARELY leave before a game is over).

Other than that, how did you like the play, Mrs. Lincoln?

At least it was somewhat entertaining…we got to see Trot’s bomb, Nomar’s (which was CRUSHED. It hit high on the Sports Authority sign, that sucker was going over Lansdowne..possibly to the pike), and Walker put them within 3. Long day, though…at least the Yankees lost, so the Sox loss doesn’t hurt as much.

Story links tomorrow…

More Offense

Well, in what for a brief moment looked like a potential heartwrencher, the Sox won running away. For those that weren’t watching:

Sox were up 3-2, with 2 out. Trot stood on 2nd, and Giambi hit a wall ball. Trot didn’t exactly run full speed, but at the same time, Giambi was trying to stretch it into a double. The DRays outfielder noticed this, and threw to 2nd. Giambi was out, and Trot hadn’t crossed the plate yet. So no run. Then, in the next inning, the Drays hit 2 solo homers to take the lead 5-3. Luckily (more on that later), the Sox scored 7 runs, including a Trot grand slam that completely redeemed his baserunning.

Think Pinella is getting frustrated?:

“They have [Jason] Varitek and [Kevin] Millar sitting on the bench tonight, for God’s sake,” Piniella said. “They could have switched uniforms and played for us. They got a good ballclub. … They did a nice job here. They got three left-handed relievers. What is it they need? You know? What is it they need?” HEUSCHKEL

So those who listen on the radio might have heard of the Lincoln Park progressive jackpot promotion. In case you haven’t:

Each game, one lucky contestant will have the chance to win cash if the Red Sox score seven runs in the seventh inning. The jackpot starts at $1,000 and if the Sox don’t score seven, it grows by $77 per game.

$1000 + ($77 * 100) = $8700 for some lucky fan tonight. They should get Trot a 99 gift certificate.

Since I’m doing the post right after the game with no game story links, let me send you to a couple interesting reads. Aaron has a great article on two probable hall of famers and their incredible parallel paths (it is the post from 7/23, after the rookie story). Stephen has a great piece on Nomar that makes you feel better after reading the crap put out by a certain paid columnist at the Globe yesterday. Gregg just drove cross country, stopping at ballparks across the country. Another great read. And Tim discusses possible acquisitions before the trade deadline.

I don’t just have those links over there for ha-ha’s, people, I like to read them, and the links are there because I figure that you might also.

Part 3 of the Courant’s interview with Sox owners deals with the team itself. A snippet regarding trades:

Henry: If this team had gotten halfway decent pitching in the first half of the season, which we are now getting, by the way … I think that we have sufficient offense. We are looking at adding another solid starter, maybe another flame-thrower for the bullpen. (The comment was made before the Brandon Lyon trade.) I think there are going to be some people out there, but because of the financial situation in baseball, a lot of the deals will actually take place in August. If for some reason we don’t do something by July 31, don’t for a minute think that we’re not going to get a deal done.

So I’m headed up to Fenway for the game today. Day game vs. the DRays with Mendoza pitching. Ugh. Well, my young nephew should have a good time. If you feel like it, you can send me a text message. for me as I watch the game.