A River in Egypt

So, was there a game last night? Something told me to stop watching after the Sox scored a couple runs in the top of the 7th…

“I stunk,” Sauerbeck said. “I’ve stunk since I’ve been here. I’ve got a week to figure it out and try to get it straight so I can actually help the team instead of hurting them.”

The blame gets spread around on this one. Lowe, Jackson, Williamson, and Little. Damn; that was ugly. Leaves one feeling really, really iffy when it comes to close playoff games in the late innings. Last night doesn’t make me think the Sox won’t get to the playoffs…it does lead me to believe it will be tough for them to advance far.

Keep the dough rolling in re: the below post…

Ante up, ladies and germs

OK; I was cruising around baseball-reference.com this morning, when I noticed there are some available players. Just for the hell of it, PSF.com now sponsors Mike Timlin for the next year for a measly $10.

In perusing some other available players, there are 2 available in the Sox rotation that I’d like to have PSF.com sponsor. However, I don’t feel like plopping down $110 bucks. So here’s the deal…if 10 of you donate $10, I’ll grab one of the available players. If by the time I raise enough comes and they aren’t available anymore, I’ll just send your money back. Or, we could vote on another player or players to sponsor.

I don’t know about you, but I use Baseball Reference ALL The time…so it also goes to a worthy cause, IMO.

So go to Paypal, and send a payment to psf@portlandsoxfan.com. Give what you can, and let’s see if we can snag one of these guys.

He’s no automatic tranny

‘Cause he’s got clutch.

AB
H
2b
HR
RBI
AVG
OBP
SLG
209
77
18
15
53
.368
.545
.670

OK, that’s a silly joke. However, those are Manny’s numbers in September since joining the Sox. Sure, clutch is usually defined by close and late, or 2 out RBI, or numbers with runners in scoring position. But every at bat in September, especitally THIS September, is huge.

Sox take the field knowing all they have to do is win to pad the Wild Card lead. And they do. I missed every pitch except for the 9th inning, which I heard on the radio and watched from the time Kim came in. I haven’t seen the highlights, but I hear Manny’s homer was a BOMB…especially considering it was against a stiff breeze.

I was at the movies last night, we saw this. It was action packed and entertaining…funny at times. But it wouldn’t be terrible if you waited for DVD.

So now I have even less sympathy for the Yankees playing yesterday. As we were driving out to dinner, I was listening to WFAN. They had their Yankee beat reporter on, Sweeny Murti, who relayed the following information:

Apparently, Gene Orza, the MLB Union head, contacted Mike Lieberthal of the Phillies, Johnny Damon, and Mike Mussina. He asked all of them what they thought of playing doubleheaders Wednesday to avoid potential weather problems on Thursday. Lieberthal and Damon, who Orza spoke to first, decided against it after talking to their managers. Mussina decided against it on his own. Now, there may have been some confusion as to what Mussina thought…since he was the last guy talked to, he may have thought that since the other two declined it, it was being suggested that he do the same.

Gene Orza, associate general counsel of the players association, said he raised the possibility of playing split doubleheaders Wednesday in places such as Baltimore and Philadelphia, but after consulting with player reps, including Mussina, he said it was not feasible.

“The players don’t vote on split [doubleheaders],” Orza said. “The union makes that decision. I rejected it after consulting with the players. The Yankees had legitimate reasons for not wanting to play a doubleheader, because of its effect on their pitching rotation.”

However, he never conferred with anybody in Yankee management.

General manager Brian Cashman said the Yankees front office was not consulted.

Neither Torre nor Yankees management heard of the option of playing a doubleheader until after the fact.

Torre would not have been enthusiastic about a doubleheader Wednesday. “But if we knew we were going to be made to stay here as punishment for turning it down, then it would have been something you’d want to talk over,” he said.

AMORE

So George’s and Moose’s protestations doth ring a little hollow this morning, in my opinion. Can you imagine how ripped they would have been had they LOST, which they would have if the O’s had a decisive 3rd base coach??

The Yankees would have lost, 2-1, if not for the terrible third-base coaching of Tom Treblehorn, who sent Pedro Swann home on a single to left then put up the stop sign in no man’s land after Hideki Matsui made a strong throw to the cutoff man. Swann was tagged out by catcher John Flaherty for the second out in the fifth. KERNAN

Now THAT would have been funny.

“I’ve never heard of half of these guys…

… and the ones I do know are way past their prime.”
“Most of these guys never had a prime.”
“This guy here is dead! ”
“Well, cross him off then.” Classic.

OK; that’s a little extreme…but it’s almost how many Sox fans undoubtedly felt when they saw the lineup last night. Sad when the highlight of the night is a roaring ovation for a rookie’s first Major League hit. After being drafted just after Trot Nixon in 1993.

What makes a guy like that hang on, I wonder? Toiling around in the minors since 1993? Yes, I know he had a short stint in Japan, but I have to think that hanging on to your baseball dream for that many prime years of your life can’t be that good of a thing.

Anyway, with Damon out, Millar getting over manhugytis (ok; it’s actually food poisoning) the B- lineup didn’t fare well last night. Can’t win ’em all, I suppose, but that was ugly.

Here’s an interesting note from the above link:

For the first time since 1914 the Red Sox have three players with 15 or more stolen bases. Damon has 28 steals, Nomar Garciaparra 17 and Damian Jackson 15. In 1914 Tris Speaker had 42, Hal Janvrin 29, Duffy Lewis 22, Harry Hooper 19 and Larry Gardner 16.

The poor, poor Yankees are being forced to play a nooner today to try to sneak one in before the hurricane hits Baltimore. Granted, if the same thing were happening to the Sox, I’d be up in arms…but the reaction it should elicit from Steinbrenner should be priceless.

Bob Ryan with a good column today.

It’s baseball. Trite as it sounds, you can’t win ’em all, even when a fanatical fandom is engulfed in Wild Card Fever.

There’s always a tomorrow in baseball. “We don’t have time to sulk,” said Varitek. “We haven’t had time all year to sulk. We’ve just got to go out and win a ballgame tomorrow.”

Sorry. It doesn’t get any deeper than that. If you want to micromanage till your hair hurts, you’ll have to go to Foxborough.

Assembly Line Offense

Last night’s 8th inning was a nice piece of manufacturing runs. Nomar leadoff double, followed by a grounder to the right side to advance him to third. I’m guessing Pinella hasn’t seen the numbers for Ortiz after a Manny IBB, but he improved to 6 for 10 last night. Not only did that drive Nomar home, but Manny hustled from first to third to be in position to score what turned out to be a pretty important run.

And Pedro, despite getting the run support he is most used to as a Sox pitcher, earns his 100th victory in Boston. 100-29…that is just mind boggling. I wonder what the record would be if you factored in all the games where he gave very little up, but didn’t have any support?

All this while Seattle was getting pounded by Texas, increasing the Wild Card lead to 2.5 (3 in the ever lovin’ loss column).

Oh; and FYI:

Tickets for the first two Division Series games that could be played at Fenway Park will go on sale at 6 p.m. Friday, exclusively via telephone and the Internet.

Approximately 9,000 tickets per game will be available by calling (617) 482-4SOX or going on www.redsox.com. Tickets will not be available at Fenway Park.

If the Red Sox are the wild-card team, they would host Game 3 and, if necessary, Game 4 of the Division Series Saturday, Oct. 4, and Sunday, Oct. 5. If they win the AL East, they would host Game 1 Tuesday, Sept. 30, and Game 2 Thursday, Oct. 2.

Ticket prices, established by Major League Baseball, are $70 for box seats, $45 for grandstand, and $20 for bleachers and standing room. There will be a $6 transaction fee for each ticket and a $14 handling charge for each order. Fans may purchase up to four tickets. Tickets for Green Monster seats will not be offered Friday.

I’ll be trying as well, but if you happen to snag some, keep your friendly neighborhood webmaster in mind, will ya?

Nice Trend

  Score
IP
H
ER
OAK L 2-3
6
2
0
SEA W 6-1
7.1
5
1
NYY W 10-5
6
5
5
CWS W 5-4
7
10
2
BAL W 9-2
6
6
1
TB W 8-2
8
4
2

That’s 5 very good starts, and one so-so one. Could this be the return of the 2002 Lowe that the Sox need to cement their playoff hopes and to actually give them a chance in the postseason? Let’s hope so. A Lowe like this, combined with the Pedro we’ve seen over the last month or so can only lead to very good things.

Padded the Wild Card lead last night, thanks to Viagra boy. Pedro tonight…

TCB

Elvis’ favorite expression was TCB. He had it painted on his plane, among other things. Now that the Sox schedule is made up of Tampa Bay, Cleveland, Baltimore, they absolutely need to take care of business. 7 vs. the Devil Rays, win 5. 4 vs. the Orioles, win 3. 3 vs. the Indians, let’s take 2. 10-4 is not out of the realm of possibility. Good clubs beat the lesser teams when they need to (like the Yanks did winning 8 in a row last week). It’d be nice to see the last week of the season and Seattle/Oakland fighting eachother for ONE spot…

I was at the game yesterday, and it was as forgettable in person as I’m sure it was on television. The only good part was we got to move up from my terrible seats to get a pretty good view…and the whole section had fun ganging up on some drunken disruptive idiots who were more interested in starting the wave than watching a baseball game. Pretty sad when that is your highlight for the day at Fenway.

Busy, Busy

Haven’t had much time to update the past couple of days…yesterday went to UConn/BC and today am headed up to Boston for the rubber game.

Only a 1/2 game lead in the Wild Card now, but I don’t think that’s cause for too much concern. Seattle has a tough road ahead of them in the next two weeks, and as long as the Sox play like they should vs. these ‘lesser’ teams (after Chicago leaves town, that is), they hopefully will have no problem holding on to this lead.

I think that the chase for the East is probably finished, though.

Are allergies killing anybody else right now? They only started bothering me 3 or 4 years ago, and at that, only in the spring. I got hit so hard yesterday afternoon I wanted to cut my head off. Maybe tailgating in a big grassy field yesterday didn’t help matters.

On a side note, I’m not the biggest college football fan in the world, but I got season tickets to the new UConn stadium this year. A couple of chip shot field goals missed and passes dropped really helped BC out yesterday. UConn didn’t look to bad most of the time…

Oh; and it looks like things could get interesting around here by the end of the week…

Apologist Manifesto

7-2 road trip. 14 of the last 19. Pedro looked like Pedro. Manny en fuego since Mannygate. Mueller and Ortiz continue to shine. Holding steady with the WC lead and within shouting distance (barely) for the division. With 17 games left.

What’s not to like about being a Red Sox fan right now?

Sure, you can dwell on the crummy pen that was kicking around until mid June or so, and has reared its ugly head a few times in the past few weeks. Yeah, you can scratch your head about the fact that Nomar hits like a monster at home and a poodle on the road. Absolutely, you can question the thinking of the manager at times. And I’m sure a few of you will come up with more things to whine about.

I don’t wear blinders. I acknowledge these problems as they happen. I just don’t choose to dwell on them for more than a day or two. There are 17 games left in this 2003 season…take some time to enjoy a few and think about what has been a damned entertaining season thus far. And let’s hope that we get to see more than 17 games in 2003.

EDIT: Could somebody explain to me exactly what this means?

“That’s why people gotta believe in the Sox,” designated hitter David Ortiz said,
“This is not apple Sox, or barbecue Sox. This is the Sox.”

You can buy the t-shirt, and assorted other things, here

FURTHER EDIT: After reading Bob Ryan’s excellent column on Pedro this morning, I decided to take a look at the Pedro no-decisions. In 56.2 innings pitched, Pedro allowed a whopping 13 runs. In 9 no decisions, he has an era of 2.08. Of those 9 starts, 5 of them were unquestionably enough for a win. And the Sox lost 6 of those games. Poor bastard. That’s Cy Young quality. Again.

EVEN FURTHER EDIT: Seems some in the national media are jumping on the Sox bandwagon. Yesterday; Jason Stark. Today, Thomas Boswell.

Now, at last, the time has come. Every shred of resiliency is gone. Finally, every Sox fan with an iota of sanity knows that this is not the year. So, cowboy up, it will be. Because nobody, except the Red Sox (players), thinks it is.

Strange Attitude

Nice win last night; Lowe wasn’t as sharp as his line may indicate, but you really can’t complain too much about that. Seattle loses, so the WC lead is increased…Yanks get by Detroit in late innings, so the East deficit remains the same.

More strangeness from Little today:

“When we bring guys in from that bullpen and there is a little trouble started after they get into the game, we’re not in a position where we can leave that person out there to get himself out of it at this point in the season,” Little said. “We’ll be pretty quick to pull the trigger to see if we can find the right guy.” HEUSCHKEL

Umm..you are deciding this now; on September 9th. Great.

Oh; and if you were to ask me who the team MVP is this year, I would have a REALLY hard time choosing between Ortiz and Mueller right now. If you’ve ever been to Camden Yards, you’ve seen the little plaques out by Eutaw Street that show homers that completely left the yard. Well, thanks to Ortiz, there will be a new one there.

Afternoon game today; Pedro at 3:05.