A Long Road Home

It has now been five days since my last entry. Dang. I knew I was behind, but I didn’t know I was this behind. What’s my excuse? Between watching the Red Sox, preseason football, Michael Phelps and the Olympics, sleep has fallen by the wayside. Now fully rested and able to snag a few minutes, I will now talk what we are all here to discuss: baseball.

We split a series against the ChiSox, and quite a few things happened during this four-game series.

    -my rock, my best hope (Lester) lost his first game in 2.5 months (that’s just a ridiculous stat, by the way)
    -Pedroia stops his road hitting streak at 29. (also ridiculous, considering how bad the Sox can be on the road)

buch.jpg

    -Clay B. had a really bad (and somewhat unlucky) night, though I tell you what, he was throwing good, they were just hitting better. I have hope for him yet.
 
   -the bullpen wasn’t too terrible. no, really, they were actually pretty decent (what we saw of them)

    -the Sox come home with a winning record for a road trip! 4-3

    -how ’bout Jason Bay being as solid as he can be? I mean, he’s no Manny, but that trade , which significantly lowered the level of stress for the Sox, added years to Tito’s life
    –Jose Contreras came of the DL on August 9th, and promptly returned following an Achilles tear and is out for the rest of the season (his surgery yesterday was successful, however)
    -Jed Lowrie. I want him at short, or Cora, but mostly Jed. Julio, take your time on the DL. 

Other good/funny things that happened over the weekend:

    -Evan Longoria was placed on the DL (no, I don’t wish people would be hurt, but this does help out the Sox) So now they Rays have two key players out for at least two weeks

    -The Yanks are now 9 games behind Tampa, and 5 games behind the Red Sox. Please oh please oh please can they keep losing?

phelps.jpg    -The American’s crushed the World record (and the trash-talking French) in the 4X100m relay in what was one of the greatest Olympic moments ever.
And then the men’s gymnastics team, with ZERO Olympic experience, and not favored to medal at all, had a stellar night to take home the Bronze.

    -finally, Manny is already stirring up controversy at his new post in La-La-Land. Many great player’s locks have fallen to the will of Joe Torre. Damon, for example, lost his Jesus-do after acting like Judas and jumping over to the Dark Side. Now Torre is in the land of image-is-everything, did you really think he’d stop the whole hair cut thing? 11 days ago he asked Manny to trim his hair (wherever he goes, the Manny must be appeased). Manny, who thought he was finished early last night and could not be found for a few minutes (classic), has yet to get the requested “trim”. Here’s some more on the “Dreadlock Deadlock

manny.jpg

Oh Manny, how I miss you, yet how glad I am that you are gone …(hey, I’m a Red Sox fan, it’s my nature to be contradictory)

becks.jpgBecks pitched a gem last night, racking up the Ks. Problem was, John Danks was almost perfect. Then he whacked Wheels (Ellsbury) on the butt with a pitch and it all went downhill from there. Beckett looked like the Ace we all know and love last night (good timing with that, by the way) in what will be a very important month for the Sox, Beckett’s return to a higher standard is welcome news. Wake is on the DL, Buchholz, though he is actually pitching OK, can’t seem to fool batters, and Dice is heart-attack inducing (though he rarely loses). This makes watching the Sox pitch so much more stressful, especially when Beckett is so close but just a little off. But this resurgence is great, because the means now (hopefully) we have the stellar 1-2-3 punch of Dice, Beckett and Lester, plus Zink, who should be pretty good, and Clay has a lot of potential, he just needs a little work. We still have one of the best (and certainly the most interesting) closers in Paps.

So here’s to Beckett (may he be as dominant in Aug-Sept-Oct 2008 as he was in 2007) and a good road trip. Now, lets hope that the temporary set-backs can stall the Rays out a bit to get the Sox back in contention. (What, I still am, and will always be, worried that the Yankees are going to go on a run at the end and take it all away from us)

Back at home tonight with the high-scoring Texas Rangers (yee-haw!) Good news: Zink is pitching in his MLB debut (13-4, 2.89 ERA, .228 opponents batting average in the minors). That means most of these batters have never seen him before. Hopefully Tito and Cash and all the guys can allay his nerves and he’ll be the heir-apparent to Wake (the guy is 42, he’ll retire eventually)

I leave you with a question. There have been (not counting war years and a few lost to injury) five major players spanning the years to play in Left Field at Fenway: Lewis (whose cliff is now gone), Williams, Yaz, Rice, Greenwell, and Manny. Will Bay be like the few, the proud, the Sox Left Fielders?  Or will he be like the names we don’t mention here, a handful of starters scattered over the near 100 years of Fenway and the Monster? Who knows, he’s a young guy, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

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