Buying into it

If the Yanks play .500 ball for the rest of the season (16-16), The Sox can play .606 ball and win the division (go 20-13). Boston is on a torrid .703 pace since the July 31st trade, the Yanks are playing .615 in August.

Let\’s say the Yanks play .615 in September as well. The Sox could still win the division by going 23-10 or better to finish out the year.

These are just a couple of scenarios…the division is well within reach and close enough where fans can dream. Hopefully the team keeps focusing on one game at a time, and winning series. The Sox have quickly turned what had been a disappointing year into an interesting and hopeful one.

Annual Jimmy Fund Radiothon

I would encourage anybody who can to donate. I don’t know why I watch this on TV (I’m working at home) as it generally makes the room very dusty for me for a large portion of the day.

Follow the link below to find out more, and to hopefully make a donation. Every little bit counts.

This is too rich not to add. Those of you that watched/listened to Sox/Jays games heard the guys beating the drums. You heard Joe/Jerry joking about them. Well, it seems that the mighty Yankees are distracted about the mighty drum beats. LINK

Okay, some of us already really dislike the Yankees. For those of you teetering on the edge, or even those of you who (gasp) like the Yankees, this might swing you into our camp:
Tonight we were having a really grand Cheer Club session. Best attendance in ages, a responsive crowd, and Alex was on fire playing the drum. He really brought it. But then in the third inning, a uniformed police officer approached us and said that we had to stop playing. He didn't know why, he just knew that we had to.

We did. It didn't make us very happy. We kept pressing for a reason why today was different from, say, yesterday, or the other couple of dozen times we've brought the drum to the Dome.

Well, we got our answer in the ninth inning: the Yankees complained.

That's right, the millionaires couldn't take an unfriendly crowd. The mighty New York Yankees would be unable to continue to play because ten guys in the upper deck were shouting and chanting and cheering and playing a drum.

Jeff DaVanon may have complained that we were distractingly loud, but at least he had the balls to play through it.

I'm still stunned by the whole thing, and I really don't know what else to say. Sorry, Mick, your Yankees are gutless whiners.

Thanks to A Red Canuck on SoSH for finding this.

Still rolling…

Sox still doing what they should be doing. Beating up on the dregs. They have won 8 of their last 9, and are playing .666 baseball since the day Nomar was traded. The Manny we all know and love seems to have come back from his post all-star game funk, hitting an absolute bomb last night to the Hard Rock Cafe. I had the game on the radio, and I have to admit that I chuckled when Castiglione said \"If it weren\’t for the windows, somebody would have had a fly ball in their soup!\"

I actually hit the sack before the game was over, figuring that they could hold on. Also, when I went to bed, the Yanks had just taken the lead..nice to see what happened to them. The unfortunate thing is that the Angels and A\’s are about as red-hot as the Sox right now, not allowing this streak to put any distance between wild card contenders.

Detroit in for 4 this weekend. Let\’s hope the pace continues, and the Sox take at least 3 of 4. I\’ll be there Saturday night…

Don\’t look now….

But the Sox are on a roll. Five straight wins, good hitting, decent pitching, and sound defense. And at the same time, the Yankees are in a little rut. As of now, the Sox are 6.5 games out of the East…still a big hill to climb, but definitely not an insurmountable one with 6 games left vs. New York.

Cabrera seems to be coming around the last week or so…and after the past two days, it looks as if Manny is breaking out of his doldrums.

All in all, it\’s been a lot more enjoyable over the past couple weeks, no?

A nice little run…

7-3 on the homestand. 11-7 since ‘the trade’. Seems that over the past couple of weeks, the team has played some pretty consistant ball. Starting pitchers going 7+, hitting for the most part pretty solid…a couple of bullpen hiccups, but they are doing what they are supposed to do in this stretch of the schedule…beat the also-rans. All you can ask for at this point.

To Doubt or Not to Doubt

Contrary to popular belief, a lot of sox fans who are die-hard, analytical followers would love to watch a sox game and just root, root, root for the home team. It would be so much easier if you could watch a game, enjoy the plays and enjoy the company (if you are there in person or watching at a bar).

Unfortunately, the reality is that the sox manager chooses to do things that are either borderline gumpish or beyond comprehension, or will toss common sense out the window for whims that would disturb even the most novice fan (mientkiewicz at 2b). Lineup moves that are based on matchups are seemingly ok to justify one day, then ok not to utilize the next. Relief pitching moves based on fear of defeat, rather than going to guys based on current performance.

The Sox are on a little roll right now, a homestand of 7-3 and some yankee slumping has allowed the club to sneak within 8 games of the division lead. The wild card continues to be a race in which the sox are a game up or down give or take a day.

So, what do you do as a fan? Do you sit back, enjoy the ride, like sox fans did in 2003 when the team was not only entertaining but exciting (many come-from-behind victories)? Or do you examine how the sox have done things coaching/managing wise (sveum\’s death missions from 3rd that resemble the final minutes of Gallipoli, the movie) that have stunted the team in some losses and made some easier games a lot closer than they should be? Can we, as fans, analyze and not get a splitting headache? Is it even worth trying to be a smart fan? Should we stepford fan it?

Well, I think maybe the best route is to look at the team\’s recent play, see it as a hopeful sign that the team is on its way to the wild card or even a division title. Sure, rip the manager, he deserves it. But take it game by game, and get excited. Not too excited, but enough to be supportive fans. Not stepford fans, but fan it for the sake of the players. Follow the players and forget the manager. He\’s hopeless. We all realize this. So hopefully the players are doing the same.

When it\’s all said and done, maybe the players will pull it out. Maybe the presence of schilling, pedro, manny, ortiz, damon will be enough nucleus to get over the hump. Maybe the manager/3rd base coach won\’t screw up as often and influence games as much with their incompetent moves.

I\’m a believer. I wasn\’t at the time of the nomar trade, i\’ll admit it. But i see the schedule that favors the sox v. lousier opponents and i see not a lot from the possible wild card contenders. It\’s a playoff spot that the sox can easily attain. So here\’s hoping they do it. Consider me on the bandwagon until the bitter or sweet end.

fred from medford

Memo to Terry:

Timlin and Embree do not have to pitch in every game. Timlin and Embree do not have to be the 1-2 guys out of the bullpen every game.

I guess that’s all I have. Exept one other thing that bothered me this weekend….didn’t this weekend show that the much ballyhooed ‘record in one run games’ statistic is a tad deceiving? I mean; the 2 Sox losses were one run losses. Yet in both games, the Sox were down by 3 going into the bottom of the 9th, and they scored two runs to come up one run short. How many of the other one run losses are losses of this fashion (I have no idea, and I’m not looking it up)? What I will concede, though, is that unlike last year, you just don’t have the feeling at the end of games that the Sox are going to come back. Down by 4 runs or less in the 8th or 9th last year, they always seemed to make it interesting. That doesn’t seem to be the case this year, although I will completely admit that it could just be my perception of games thus far.

On a somewhat interesting note, I was driving to my father’s house on Saturday, and I had to pull over in Middle Haddam when I drove by this car:

(click on the pic for a larger image). I thought that was pretty cool.

The 3rd non-annual Paris game

Way back in 2000, some chatters decided to get together and go to
a game. The inspiration for this came from the chatter Paris, a Mass native
living in, well, you guessed it…Paris. Many came, good times were had, MBF
didn’t show up…and the Sox lost.

In the summer of 2001, Paris came stateside again, and again he organized a
mini-outing. This time, I attended…along with Paris, Rich, Dewey, and oLive.
The Sox lost, and MBF didn’t show up.

And now, after a 3 year hiatus, and a mass migration from to,
the outing was resurrected. Some things changed (the Sox won) and some things
remained the same (MBF didn’t show up.)

It all started a couple months ago when Paris decided he wanted to try to go
to the game with a few people. And he also decided that he didn’t want crummy
grandstand seats. He figured if he only gets to Fenway once a year, he wanted
to sit in good seats. So he got 4 tickets, 4 VERY GOOD tickets, and graciously
invited myself, Rich, and MBF. The tickets were sent to Rich for safe keeping.
Unfortunately, they DIDN’T stay safe…but everything worked out just fine.
When it became apparant that MBF wasn’t going to show up, Ami got the late call
and took his seat. Dewey met us at the bar before the game, and ended up moving
from Box 93 over with us to the sweet seats. We ended up 6 rows from the TB
on-deck circle, with a great view of the offensive explosion the Sox put on.
I got to meet Rob Szaz, the infamous Tampa Bay heckler…and good times were
had by all.

Thanks again to Paris, who graciously provided the tickets. Here are some pics
from the game: Album

The oh so average red sox

I decided early this season that I would stick behind this team through thick and thin. Well I picked a heck of a season to do that. I keep waiting for that magical team meeting to take place, for Varitek or Millar to kick over water bottles in the clubhouse and get this team to start an 8 game win streak but maybe it’s just not going to happen. On the bright side, Cabrerra is not going to hit .200 for the rest of the year so we should be seeing some offensive help from him even if it’s only him getting on base before the big guys. That’s the kind of shortstop he is. He showed some patience at the plate last night and honestly I can’t remember the last time our defense has looked as good as it does right now. Mientkievowickski showed us last night why he is here by stopping at least two balls that I can remember were headed for the sox dugout. It was also good to see them get to a guy who looked unhittable through 4 or 5 innings and put some numbers up on the board.

So maybe this year should be about the little things. I’m in a good mood today hopefully they can rattle off a few of these.

4 of 6?

Sure doesn’t feel like it, does it? Yet the O’s swept the Rangers, putting the Sox atop the Wild Card standings. And as dissapointing and frustrating as this season has been, for the most part the Sox control their own destiny regarding making the playoffs. 30 more home games, 24 more road games. August looks managable what with the teams on the schedule, and the first couple weeks of September appear to be what will be the make or break period for this team.

Still, this isn’t as much fun as it was last year, is it?