There’s Only ONE October – And It Has Arrived!

The Sox are off on their way to the land of the La Las (otherwise known as Las Angeles) to face the Las Angeles Angels of Anaheim (they don’t have enough fans in Anaheim so they incorporated LA too). Many Sox fans will be chanting the same thing they did this summer with the NBA Finals: “Beat LA”. Odd how that works out.

Also, as to the question of Lester starting instead of Josh? Well, aside from my concern that Becks won’t be ready to pitch at all (an irrational fear, I hope) Lester is a great back-up. I mean, how many teams would kill to have Lester or Dice-K come and be their Ace? (The Mariners, Nats, Os, Pirates and Padres are all raising their hands). I think pitching wise, so long as Becks is healthy, we’re in good shape.

Lets look at the top 10 teams for the year…(* indicate post-season berth, bold and italics are to make a point)

1. Las Angeles Angels (of Anaheim) 100-62 AL West *
2. Chicago Cubs 97-64 NL Central *
3. Tampa Bay (Devil) Rays 97-65 AL East *
4. Boston Red Sox 95-67 AL East *
5. Philadelphia Phillies 92-70 NL East *
6. Milwaukee Brewers 90-72 NL Central *
7. New York Yankees 89-73 AL East
8. New York Mets 89-73 NL East
9-10 Minnesota Twins/Chicago White Sox 88-74 AL Central (one of them will *)

Sorry, a friend of mine continually claims that the national sports media has an east coast bias. But check out the top 10 teams! Half of them are from the east. Also, the AL has 6 of the top spots, and their final playoff contender, the LA Dodgers, are ranked 14th (going by wins/losses) falling behind every team in the AL East except for the Orioles. If we were to go purely on wins/losses, there would only be one playoff team in the AL not from the East. And it would mean that half of the NL teams came from the East. So there is your east coast bias. Well earned, in my opinion.

So break out the beer, the rally caps/towels/flags/t-shirts and get set for a great October. Lets go over some final stats before the Sox take the field against the Angels very late tomorrow night:

Fielding:
Red Sox: .986
Angels: 985
Edge: Red Sox (mostly because they’ve had Youk playing at either corner and 4 different people at short and still have a better fielding percentage than the Angels)

Batting:
Red Sox: .252 (let us mention this, though. Pedroia has hit .583 against the Angels in Anaheim this year. Astounding!)
Angels: .305
Edge: Angels

Pitching:
Red Sox: 4.01 ERA (3 starters: 2.58 ERA)
Angels: 3.99 ERA (3 starters: 2.48 ERA)
Edge: Angels (but only slightly)

Bullpen:
Papelbon and co: Only 1 Angel has a hit against him in the past 2 years, no one has a hit this year against him
K-Rod and co: Record-setting year, the Sox are batting .133 against him this season
Edge: Neither. While the Angels bullpen has been more consistent, the Red Sox bullpen is coming in hot. It’s anyone’s ballgame.

Bench:
Edge: Red Sox have talented and experienced veterans/youngsters, and they have been well prepared this year with all the various injuries.

Clutch:
Angels: K-Rod is clutch. I mean, big time clutch, plus the extra bats added this year will be a big help.
Red Sox: Dice can load the bases, and 9 times out of 10 get himself out of it. Lester…he turns around series, Becket…domination. The Sox got grit, and everyone has pulled their weight this year because of injuries.
Edge: Red Sox (again, very slight)

This is going to be a good series. I can’t wait to watch!

There’s Only ONE October – And It Has Arrived!

The Sox are off on their way to the land of the La Las (otherwise known as Las Angeles) to face the Las Angeles Angels of Anaheim (they don’t have enough fans in Anaheim so they incorporated LA too). Many Sox fans will be chanting the same thing they did this summer with the NBA Finals: “Beat LA”. Odd how that works out.

Also, as to the question of Lester starting instead of Josh? Well, aside from my concern that Becks won’t be ready to pitch at all (an irrational fear, I hope) Lester is a great back-up. I mean, how many teams would kill to have Lester or Dice-K come and be their Ace? (The Mariners, Nats, Os, Pirates and Padres are all raising their hands). I think pitching wise, so long as Becks is healthy, we’re in good shape.

Lets look at the top 10  teams for the year…(* indicate post-season berth, bold and italics are to make a point)

1. Las Angeles Angels (of Anaheim) 100-62 AL West *
2. Chicago Cubs 97-64 NL Central *
3. Tampa Bay (Devil) Rays 97-65 AL East *
4. Boston Red Sox 95-67 AL East *
5. Philadelphia Phillies 92-70 NL East *
6. Milwaukee Brewers 90-72 NL Central *
7. New York Yankees 89-73 AL East
8. New York Mets 89-73 NL East
9-10 Minnesota Twins/Chicago White Sox 88-74 AL Central (one of them will *)

Sorry, a friend of mine continually claims that the national sports media has an east coast bias. But check out the top 10 teams! Half of them are from the east. Also, the AL has 6 of the top spots, and their final playoff contender, the LA Dodgers, are ranked 14th (going by wins/losses) falling behind every team in the AL East except for the Orioles. If we were to go purely on wins/losses, there would only be one playoff team in the AL not from the East. And it would mean that half of the NL teams came from the East. So there is your east coast bias. Well earned, in my opinion.

So break out the beer, the rally caps/towels/flags/t-shirts and get set for a great October. Lets go over some final stats before the Sox take the field against the Angels very late tomorrow night:

Fielding:
Red Sox: .986
Angels: 985
Edge: Red Sox (mostly because they’ve had Youk playing at either corner and 4 different people at short and still have a better fielding percentage than the Angels)

Batting:
Red Sox: .252 (let us mention this, though. Pedroia has hit .583 against the Angels in Anaheim this year. Astounding!)
Angels: .305
Edge: Angels

Pitching:
Red Sox: 4.01 ERA (3 starters: 2.58 ERA)
Angels: 3.99 ERA (3 starters: 2.48 ERA)
Edge: Angels (but only slightly)

Bullpen:
Papelbon and co: Only 1 Angel has a hit against him in the past 2 years, no one has a hit this year against him
K-Rod and co: Record-setting year, the Sox are batting .133

against him this season
Edge: Neither. While the Angels bullpen has been more consistent, the Red Sox bullpen is coming in hot. It’s anyone’s ballgame.

Bench:
Edge: Red Sox have talented and experienced veterans/youngsters, and they have been well prepared this year with all the various injuries.
 
Clutch:
Angels: K-Rod is clutch. I mean, big time clutch, plus the extra bats added this year will be a big help.
Red Sox: Dice can load the bases, and 9 times out of 10 get himself out of it. Lester…he turns around series, Becket…domination. The Sox got grit, and everyone has pulled their weight this year because of injuries.
Edge: Red Sox (again, very slight)

This is going to be a good series. I can’t wait to watch!

Red Sox Honor Pesky, Prepare for the Post-Season

It’s almost October. The weather is starting to change, the leaves are turning colors, and most importantly, eight teams are gearing up for the post-season. Well, seven. By Wednesday we’ll know the eighth.

The Red Sox honored Johnny Pesky by retiring his number. Finally. I fully believe the Red Sox are a little harsh in their restrictions on retiring numbers. But…Johnny deserves this, and he will always be remembered. He’s got the Pesky pole!

On to the post-season. Lester will get the start on Wednesday due to a minor oblique injury suffered by Josh Beckett, who will start game 3. Tito’s got some roster decisions coming up, including what to do with Lowell and Drew. Drew played 7 solid innings on Sunday, without an issue. Hopefully, this is a good sign.

And for everyone who really wanted the AL East crown…don’t worry about it. Good thing is, as of Wednesday, everyone is 0-0. Yes, the Angels killed us this year, but remember, those games came right as Manny was at his worst. The teams that met in the regular season are not the same teams that will take the field on Wednesday.

So prepare your rally caps, your favorite lucky t-shirts, and your hope for this coming October. May it be a long one for the Sox. Also, thank the good Lord above that you aren’t a Mets fan. So when you’re worried about playing the Angels, think of it this way: it could be worse, you could be the Mets.

I’m so excited. LETS GO RED SOX!

Red Sox Honor Pesky, Prepare for the Post-Season

It’s almost October. The weather is starting to change, the leaves are turning colors, and most importantly, eight teams are gearing up for the post-season. Well, seven. By Wednesday we’ll know the eighth.

The Red Sox honored Johnny Pesky by retiring his number. Finally. I fully believe the Red Sox are a little harsh in their restrictions on retiring numbers. But…Johnny deserves this, and he will always be remembered. He’s got the Pesky pole!


On to the post-season. Lester will get the start on Wednesday due to a minor oblique injury suffered by Josh Beckett, who will start game 3. Tito’s got some roster decisions coming up, including what to do with Lowell and Drew. Drew played 7 solid innings on Sunday, without an issue. Hopefully, this is a good sign.

And for everyone who really wanted the AL East crown…don’t worry about it. Good thing is, as of Wednesday, everyone is 0-0. Yes, the Angels killed us this year, but remember, those games came right as Manny was at his worst. The teams that met in the regular season are not the same teams that will take the field on Wednesday.

So prepare your rally caps, your favorite lucky t-shirts, and your hope for this coming October. May it be a long one for the Sox. Also, thank the good Lord above that you aren’t a Mets fan. So when you’re worried about playing the Angels, think of it this way: it could be worse, you could be the Mets.

I’m so excited. LETS GO RED SOX!

Lester Lights Up The Indians To Keep The East In Sight

Jon Lester almost showed that lightening strikes twice. He threw five innings of no-hit ball against the Cleveland Indians. Of course, we all knew he wasn’t going to get a no-hitter, this close to the playoffs, Tito wasn’t going to let him get above 90 pitches. Still, five innings of no-hit baseball gives your team a very good chance to win.

Youk jason.png


I love this time of year for baseball. Although I do admit, I thought this series against the Yankees would mean more. Oh well.

Also, totally off topic, and if you love the Office keep reading. (Note if you haven’t seen season 5’s premier, STOP! Contains SPOILERS!)

Lester Lights Up Indians To Keep The East In Sight

Jon Lester almost showed that lightening strikes twice. He threw five innings of no-hit ball against the Cleveland Indians. Of course, we all knew he wasn’t going to get a no-hitter, this close to the playoffs, Tito wasn’t going to let him get above 90 pitches. Still, five innings of no-hit baseball gives your team a very good chance to win.

Lester's Strong Start
http://mediaservices.myspace.com/services/media/embed.aspx/m=43565119,t=1,mt=video

Then the offense was rocking and rolling, including a shot Youk hit, taking it to the Monstah Seats!
Youk jason.png

I love this time of year for baseball. Although I do admit, I thought this series against the Yankees would mean more. Oh well.

Also, totally off topic, and if you love the Office keep reading. (Note if you haven’t seen season 5’s premier, STOP! Contains SPOILERS!)

Red Sox Clinch Playoff Spot Squeaking By The Indians

After dropping the first game against the Indians, the Red Sox rebounded to win two close ones against the Tribe.

wohoo youk.png First after rocking Cliff Lee’s world in the 4th and 5th for 5 runs (note, on any other pitcher this would not be “rocking” but for Lee…oh yeah). Youk and Pedroia came up big with 2 RBIs each, and Bay drove in the game-winning run.Youk hit a 2-run homer in the fourth and Pedey came through with a 2-run double in the fifth. After Youk was intentionally walked in the 5th, Bay made the Indians pay with a 2-out RBI single.

paps celebrate.png After Paps notched the save, the Sox celebrated. ESPN First Take wondered if the celebration was over the top. Uh, hello, I think the Indians would kill to be where we are. So would 30 other teams, it would do the accomplishment a disservice not to celebrate. Just because they are defending champs doesn’t mean they should treat this whole thing as ho-hum. I’m sure the Yankees would love to be in this position right now (PS, enjoy October golfing, A-Rod, I hear its fantastic!) Not only is this a huge accomplishment, because very few teams have managed to return to the post-season the next year after winning the World Series but also because of how absolutely banged up the Sox have been this year.
So congratulations Red Sox, you are going to the Post-Season! (And the Yankees aren’t for the first time in 13 years! Yay!)

bailey.png Now on to last night’s game. They were clearly trying to get everyone ready for the post season, having clinched and no longer worrying about the Wild Card race. Obviously, we still want to win the East and avoid the Angels in the first round, but if we can do it by resting the big guys and getting some guys a tune-up. JD Drew was back in the line-up tonight for a three-inning tune up, then both Van Every and Bailey got some playing time (with Bailey ripping a triple in his first at-bat of the night and scoring the game-winning run of Kotsay’s double). In both nights, the bull pen was put to work, but they seem to be shutting it down and getting it done, Manny D even got the save instead of Paps.

Now, the only thing left to do is have the Rays lose the next four and the Sox win the next four. Unfortunately for us, that means one more game against the Indians and three against the Yankees in a series that, surprisingly, will not matter. Although I’m sure there will be a bit of taunting about the Red Sox win ending the Yankees 13 year post-season streak.

Next game is tonight, 7:05 Sowers vs. Lester. Go Sox!

Add on: Here’s another great video from Cinco Ocho (otherwise known as Papelbon) Check out this video and many others here

http://www.blogger.com/img/videoplayer.swf?videoUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fv21.nonxt7.googlevideo.com%2Fvideoplayback%3Fid%3Dc9fb8a87bcbc99a8%26itag%3D5%26app%3Dblogger%26ip%3D0.0.0.0%26ipbits%3D0%26expire%3D1278627607%26sparams%3Did%252Citag%252Cip%252Cipbits%252Cexpire%26signature%3D244DB2C5984D0CB7514B5863EEBB7DC6DFC05A63.6EF1D8CC6C399792E70CAD2392E2E794CC84DC39%26key%3Dck1&thumbnailUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fvideo.google.com%2FThumbnailServer2%3Fapp%3Dblogger%26contentid%3Dc9fb8a87bcbc99a8%26offsetms%3D5000%26itag%3Dw320%26sigh%3D0eyNyrMyJiTA_-z1JAg-H1mQ2rY&messagesUrl=video.google.com%2FFlashUiStrings.xlb%3Fframe%3Dflashstrings%26hl%3Den&nogvlm=1
(video courtesy of Comcast SportsNet)

Red Sox Clinch Playoff Spot Squeaking By the Indians

After dropping the first game against the Indians, the Red Sox rebounded to win two close ones against the Tribe.

wohoo youk.pngFirst after rocking Cliff Lee’s world in the 4th and 5th for 5 runs (note, on any other pitcher this would not be “rocking” but for Lee…oh yeah). Youk and Pedroia came up big with 2 RBIs each, and Bay drove in the game-winning run.Youk hit a 2-run homer in the fourth and Pedey came through with a 2-run double in the fifth. After Youk was intentionally walked in the 5th, Bay made the Indians pay with a 2-out RBI single.
 

paps celebrate.pngAfter Paps notched the save, the Sox celebrated. ESPN First Take wondered if the celebration was over the top. Uh, hello, I think the Indians would kill to be where we are. So would 30 other teams, it would do the accomplishment a disservice not to celebrate. Just because they are defending champs doesn’t mean they should treat this whole thing as ho-hum. I’m sure the Yankees would love to be in this position right now (PS, enjoy October golfing, A-Rod, I hear its fantastic!) Not only is this a huge accomplishment, because very few teams have managed to return to the post-season the next year after winning the World Series but also because of how absolutely banged up the Sox have been this year.
So congratulations Red Sox, you are going to the Post-Season! (And the Yankees aren’t for the first time in 13 years! Yay!)

bailey.pngNow on to last night’s game. They were clearly trying to get everyone ready for the post season, having clinched and no longer worrying about the Wild Card race. Obviously, we still want to win the East and avoid the Angels in the first round, but if we can do it by resting the big guys and getting some guys a tune-up. JD Drew was back in the line-up tonight for a three-inning tune up, then both Van Every and Bailey got some playing time (with Bailey ripping a triple in his first at-bat of the night and scoring the game-winning run of Kotsay’s double). In both nights, the bull pen was put to work, but they seem to be shutting it down and getting it done, Manny D even got the save instead of Paps.

Now, the only thing left to do is have the Rays lose the next four and the Sox win the next four. Unfortunately for us, that means one more game against the Indians and three against the Yankees in a series that, surprisingly, will not matter. Although I’m sure there will be a bit of taunting about the Red Sox win ending the Yankees 13 year post-season streak.

Next game is tonight, 7:05 Sowers vs. Lester.  Go Sox!

Add on: Here’s another great video from Cinco Ocho (otherwise known as Papelbon) Check out this video and many others here


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An Ode To The Cathedral

Farewell Yankee Stadium, it’s been fun
Some games we lost, some games we won
You’ve stood strong for many, many years
Your closing brings me to tears
Not because I root for the Yanks, believe me
But because of all the things you’ve stood to see

Pedro Martinez notching 17 Ks
Most ever against the Yanks in a single day
Curt’s damaged ankle and the sock that it stained
Damon’s grand slam as the pennant they claimed
Papi’s homers gave us hope that soon,
We would have a reason to forget Aaron **** Boone
It was the place that Teddy Ballgame got his first start
And where Lou Gehrig touched all our hearts
It was here a 1-hitter and a catch by Yastrzemski
Kicked off the season of the Impossible Dream

You’ve witnessed history, both the good and the bad
Some times you were happy, sometimes you were sad
And even a Sox fan has to admit
The greats who played here are hard to forget
Names like Mantel, DiMaggio, Yogi and Maris
Gave us all memories that we could cherish

Records have been set, many have been broken
Teams have caught fire, others were caught choking
And when the Sox come to play when you are gone,
They’ll fondly remember you, but then play on

So from a Red Sox fan to the great stadium,
So long, farewell, and thanks for the fun