Pink Hats, The Youk Fu, Picture Day and a Changeup

There’s a lot to cover today, and since Spring training has officially started, we finally have news! On a funny note, Manny rejected another massively huge offer from the Dodgers. That’s his fourth offer he’s declined due to either: not enough money or not enough years. Really, at this point, Boras should be telling him to take anything because no one is going to pay as much as he wants for as many years as he wants because we know that Manny doesn’t play unless its a contract year. Enough said.

Next on the list, the now-infamous and controversial pink hats. I’ve actually had several emails/comments/etc about the pink hats, either for or against. So here’s the new plan: a poll. Its at the end of the article, so select your answer and we will get a clear picture of how Red Sox Nation (or any baseball fans, really) feel about the pink hats.

Moving on.

A few days ago was Red Sox Photo Day. Probably one of the most ridiculous things in all of baseball, photo day never ceases to produce a few funny pictures.While we haven’t seen all the pictures yet, here’s the first few. We get a glimpse at the “Youk Fu” (to be explained later), we realize that the team as a whole is not particularly photogenic, and we see that Terry Francona looks a little like Ben Kinglsley. Click on the photos to seem them larger.

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Here they are, from left to right, top to bottom:
Row 1: OF Jacoby Ellsbury, RHP Michael Bowden, 1B/DH David Ortiz, OF Jason Bay, RHP 
           Josh Beckett
Row 2: U Mark Kotsay, OF J.D. Drew, LHP Jon Lester, 3B Mike Lowell, SS Julio Lugo
Row 3: 2B Dustin Pedroia, RHP John Smoltz, RHP Brad Penny, RHP Jonathan Papelbon,
           LHP Hideki Okajima
Row 4: RHP Junichi Tazawa, C Jason Varitek, RHP Tim Wakefield, 1B Kevin Youkilis,
           Skipper Terry Francona
Along with being picture day, it also seemed to be father’s day, with Little Papi and Little Lugo hanging out. Here are some super cute pics that made me go “awwwwwww”

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Aren’t they just too cute?
A few final things to address: The Youk Fu. I would try to explain, but I’ll just let Kevin Youkilis do it for me.

http://www.dailymotion.com/swf/x8hxiv
The Youk Fu
by beisbolct

Guess the goatee is out…

Finally, lets take a look at the pitching staff. While Wake was a little rusty in his start, Beckett, Saito, Lester…they’ve all be sharp. Lester has even worked on his changeup a little more and if he continues to progress it through Spring training, he’ll have a very dangerous pitch added to his already ace-like repertiore.

One thing you can’t argue is that the Red Sox have massive depth with pitching. They have several guys who could start but will likely be in the bull pen because they don’t need to start. So that makes the good bull pen even better. Then we have the consistent capstone himself in Papelbon, and I think with a pen this strong, he won’t have to come in for any 5-out saves or even 4-out saves, which will keep him full of gas just a little bit longer.

What can I say, I’m excited about this season. I think they have great chemistry in the clubhouse with guys like Papi, Pedroia, Papelbon, Tek, Lowell, and Youk. They all relax and goof off in the clubhouse, but when the game is on, so are they. And I don’t think we’ve seen the last of “Large Father” and “Pedroia Productions”. I’m sure Pap’s mom has a lot more embarrassing movies of her son that will make their way into the clubhouse this year.

A few final questions facing the Sox this year:
1. Will Jacoby steal his way back into America’s heart by winning another free taco?
2. How much Double Bubble will Tito go through on average a game?
3. Will Pedroia attack the next person who calls him a “little guy” “jockey”, etc?
4. Will the Youk Fu catch on as a national craze?

Finally, and, most importantly:

5. Will Pedroia ever beat Tito at Cribbage?

Here’s the poll:

Your Pink Hat Opinion

I have no opinion. I’m neutral.
They aren’t called the “Pink Sox” so why wear a pink hat
Real fans wear pink hats!
Only for special events, like cancer awareness days
They’re okay if your a girl
Other opinion.


View Results
Free Myspace Poll

 

Rays Relief is a Relief For the Phillies – And Congrats Youk!

Well, the Phillies took game 4 in spectacular style last night, and being that I am temporarily a Phillies fan, this is a good thing.

The game was close-ish until the later innings when Philly just opened up on the Rays ‘pen for homer after homer. It makes me begin to think that maybe the Rays didn’t beat the Red Sox, the Red Sox’s injuries finally caught up to them and they lost. I mean, really, the Rays being in the World Series is really a giant scouting game for the Yankees. They are mostly locked up until 2009, but the next year, the Evil Empire will come calling.

As for the Sox, I hope we rob the Jays of one of their starters, like AJ Burnett or something, keep Tek on a two year deal and phase him into the coaching staff slowly while grooming a young guy. I think bringing in a guy from another team would not be good for the pitching staff, but as all of you who read me regularly know, I’m a Tek supporter. The players have already come out and said they will be shocked, disappointed, sad, worried about the kind of team they are on, etc. if he isn’t signed. Now all we gotta do is keep Boras from being too greedy…(like that’s going to happen)

Without the big money contracts of Manny and Schill, we have a good bit of money to work with and really, not that many holes. We have the Cora-Lowrie-Lugo shortstop debate, and there’s no one we can dump Lugo on at the moment, but this means we don’t need a shortstop. Pedrioa and Youk are solid infielders and even solider bats. If Mikey comes back from the surgery OK, then yay! If not, we should pick up Texiera, maybe we should pick him up anyway, since Mikey might be on the way out at the end of next year…(hopefully retiring… I don’t want him to play for anyone else) Papi will be back to his old self, so no need for a DH, but we’ll probably keep Casey around as a good overall backup. Then we’ve got Bay, Drew, Coco, and Ellsbury in the outfield. The starting rotation of Beckett, Dice-K, Lester and Wake is still pretty potent (I know Wake led the team in losses, but go back and look to see how many of those were 1-run losses where we couldn’t generate the offense)

So, we add a pitcher, maybe an infielder, or a good backup like Kotaras who can play both pretty well, maybe bring up a new guy to work in the ‘pen. We’ll be good. The big question is catcher, and with limited prospects around the league, and Tek meaning so much to the team, it would be a stupid decision on Theo’s part not to keep him around.

Here’s to game 5. May it silence the Cowbells forever.


Also, Congrats to KEVIN YOUKILIS who won the Hank Aaron Award! Yeah!
Here’s what he had to say (and it makes me love him even more!)

Well, I don’t think I can ever compare myself to Hank Aaron in any
way,” Youkilis said. “I’ll never see myself in that level. So to win
this award, I don’t know, I’m a little humbled by it. But it’s great
just to be able to have an award that’s named after somebody that
exemplified so much in this game and has brought so much history to
this game. It’s an honor just to be named in the same sentence. So for
me, I’m thrilled.”

 

Red Sox Blank Rays, Close In On AL East

jles.pngRed Sox 3 Rays 0. Lester pitched into the 8th, allowing 0 runs on 6 hits, striking out 9 and walking 3. Paps came in and got a 4 out save allowing 1 hit and striking out 3. With this win, the Red Sox pull into within a half game of the AL East-leading Rays and move up to 7 games in front of the idle Twins for the Wild Card.

Not really the best night for the bats, considering the Sox had 9 hits and only 3 runs, all of those coming in the bottom of the 1st.  Lester  pitched 7+ innings of shut-out baseball, and Jackson pitched  6 shut-out innings. Fortunately for the Sox, that early jump proved to be enough to win the game.

Tonight the Red Sox made baseball history, breaking the streak for most consecutive home sell-outs with 456, beating the Cleveland Indian’s streak of 455. In honor of that, we will look at the 15 greatest moments at Fenway since May 15th, 2003 (when the sell-outs started).

Why 15? Well, 456 is reasons is way too many to cover in one blog, but 4+5+6=15, which is a much more manageable (not to mention readable!) amount.

15. April 22, 2007: Home Run Bonananza The Sox tie a major league record high 4 HR’s   back to back to back to back home runs in the third to help the Sox onto their first sweep     of the Yankees in Fenway since 1990. Hitting HRs were Manny, JD Drew, Lowell and     Varitek.

14. August 1 2008: A Brand New Bay Jason Bay makes his debut after the down-to-the-wire trade which sent Manny to LA and a few prospects to Pittsburgh. He has a great night,    
hitting well and making a spectacular catch, even scoring the winning run on Jed Lowrie’s
single in the 12th. This is not so great because of the game itself, but the fact that energy     returned to the Red Sox as they played like a completely different team after ridding    
themselves of Manny being Manny and his dramatic unhappiness.

13. October 25, 2007: Schill’s Last Game: In the last home appearance of the Red Sox in    
the 07 World Series, Schil and crew hang on to win a 2-1 pitcher’s duel with the Rockies.
 
12. July 2, 2007 Ellsbury Scores from Second on a Wild Pitch: Three days into his major league tenure, Jacoby Ellsbury did the nearly
impossible. He scored on a wild pitch from    
second base. Texas reliever
Willie Eyre hit catcher Gerald Laird in the leg with a pitch,
and Ellsbury was gone. He never
stopped, never thought twice as third base coach waved     him
home.

11. October 5, 2007 Manny’s First Walk-Off Home Run: Manny knocks a three-run shot out of the park to give the Boston Red Sox a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five American League
    Division Series, beating the Los Angeles Angels (of Anaheim) 6-3.

10. September 21, 2006 David Ortiz hits Red Sox Record Home Runs: David Ortiz    
cemented himself in the Boston record books by hitting 54 home runs in a single season in
2006. It was his 51st, on this date, that put him past Jimmie Foxx’s single-season record,
and made him (officially) Boston’s Home Run King.

9. April 5, 2007 Dice-K’s Debut: Dike K strikes out ten in his major league debut and gives Sox fans a preview of all the Ks that are to come.
 
arodtek fight.jpg8. July 24, 2004 The Fight: A-Rod is hit
by a Bronson Arroyo pitch and proceeds to jaw about it all the way down the first base line. He and Varitek have words, and bam! A-Rod gets a face full of angry catcher’s mit. A bench-clearing brawl later, Tek, A-Rod, Kenny Lofton, Gabe Kapler and Tito were all ejected.

7. September 28, 2007 Red Sox vs.    Twins: A Red Sox win and a Yankee’s     loss gives Boston’s its first division title     in 12 years. Dice-K racks up the K’s     and bows to the fans, while Papelbon    
dances barefoot and thousands of fans hang around for almost an hour to see     the results of the Yankee’s game.
 
6. May 13, 2007 The Mother’s Day Miracle: Bottom of the 9th, the Red Sox are down 5-0 to  the Baltimore Orioles, Julio grounds out, then Coco singles on a throwing error by Ramon     Hernandez and Papi scores him. Mo Pena somehow manages a single that moves David     to third. After both JD Drew and Youk manage a walk, scoring Papi,  Tek comes up and     doubles, scoring both Drew and Mo. Hinske walks, and Youk is out at home (its very close, though).  Back up to bat is Lugo, who made the first out of the inning. He reaches on a throwing error and Hinske and Tek score to win the game.

5. October 20, 2007 JD Drew’s clutch Grand Slam in game 6 of the ALCS: the Sox down to the Indians 3 games to 2, proved to be the straw that broke the Indians’ back and    propelled the Sox to their second World Series win in four years. It was the shot that was heard ’round Boston and will probably always be known as the 14
million dollar grand-slam,     simply because with the bases loaded and
no out, Fausto Carmona had struck out Manny     and gotten Lowell to
pop out, very few people had faith in the then-struggling outfielder.

4.
September 1, 2007 Clay Buchholz’s No-Hitter: In his second Major League start, rookie pitcher Clay Buchholz tossed the 17th no-hitter in Red Sox history, striking out 9, walking     three and hitting one batter in the 10-0 defeat of the Baltimore Orioles. Why is this ranked     behind Lester’s? Keep reading.

3. May 19, 2008 Jon Lester’s No-Hitter: The reason behind this being ahead of Buchholz’s no-no is because not only was it the first Red Sox lefty no-no since 1956, it was also a     record for Jason Varitek, who has now caught 4 no-hitters, more than any other catching.     Aided by a spectacular catch by Ellsbury and some heads-up infield plays, the Sox beat     the Royals 7-0.

2. October 18, 2004 ALCS Game 5: After going 12 innings the night before, the epic game 5
outdid it by going 14, ending when Big Papi’s single brought in Damon for the win. The Sox     would go on to Yankee stadium for the Bloody Sock game, and as the 26th team in playoff history to
face a 3-0 series deficit, become the first to force a Game Seven.

1. October 17 2004  ALCS Game 4:  The Sox go 12 innings, with a walk-off homer in the 12th. But they never would have gotten there if Dave Roberts hadn’t stolen 2nd and scored     on Bill Mueller’s single, tying the game 4-4 in the 9th. This sparked the Sox comeback,     down 3 games to none, to win it in seven take their first World Series in 86 years.

So there you go, 15 great moments from the sell-out period of Fenway park. Next up: A big time pitching show-down as Rays ace Kazmir takes on Sox stud Dice-K. Should be a great game, with the AL East being given to the winner. (If only for a day) So put on your best Papelbon glare and watch the game!

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“Youk” Can’t Stop the Beat

Well, I was worried there for a moment. My boy, my favorite pitcher, my rock in all the storms, gave up two runs in the first and I thought it was all over.
Of course, then Pedroia got things started with a single, and Youk took one to the Monster Seats. Two run shot, Sox suddenly tie the game. Big Papi singled, so did Mikey. Then Bay took one out of the park, a three-run shot and the Sox are in the lead.

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They would make it through the order in the first inning and go on to win 12-2 after another two-run shot from Youk.

Lowrie was good (again. That guy is a beast w/RISP) The bull pen was good, and Jon-Boy made it to seven, so that’s always good. (Since the bull pen is my main worry, anytime they have a good outing, I’m happy). Could trading Manny have been the best idea they’ve ever had? I wouldn’t go that far, and I’m not jumping on the Bay-is-better-than-Manny bus. He is a better fielder, and his numbers are close to Manny’s (hitting wise) but he’s younger. Only time will tell, but so far, the trade has not hurt the Sox. That is always a good thing.

For some non baseball news, Long-time Patriot (he still works in the front office) Andre Tippett was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame today. (Yay!) As were Redskins (hey, I’m from VA) Darrell Green and Art Monk. Art received a four-minute long standing ovation from the crowd and the Hall of Famers present at the ceremony (90% of the crowd were Redskins fans, but in Monk’s case, he deserved it)

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monk.jpgAll in all, it was a great ceremony (I watched that on espn while watching the Sox on mlb.tv) and all the new inductees were worthy, worthy guys. Now if we could only get Jim Rice into the baseball HOF…but thats a story for another day. Tomorrow we wrap up the series (and hopefully the A’s) with Dice on the mound.

Oh, and this just in. About an hour after they told him he was traded, Boras called Theo on behalf of Manny asking to stay in Boston, they could drop the options on him and Manny wouldn’t cause any trouble the rest of the season. Papi is wearing Manny’s wrist bands, but hopefully, he will recover and be the happy, wonderful batter we know he is.

And yes, I know that title is way cheesy, but it made me laugh, so it stays.

So Long, Farewell – But Not That Well

Manny is gone. Wait, no really. Manny is gone. There will be no more calls from inside the wall, no more antics. And I don’t care. Okay, I care. I’m a little sad, I’m gonna miss the crazy man, but now, at least, we won’t have to deal with it anymore, and I know life will be much easier on Tito.
The only thing I am worried about is Papi. I hope he’s still happy in Boston, but he and Manny were good friends…so I don’t know. Papi, we still love you, and I will absolutely cry if you leave us. Do I think this will help? Probably. We needed a bat to back up Ortiz, we got that, and hopefully we’re done with the antics. At least, the detrimental ones.
I’m interested in what can happen. Right now, I’m in limbo on how I feel about the Red Sox. I agree with what Alex Cora said. They are playing like they don’t have any energy. Maybe some new (and younger) blood will get the Sox moving again. Youk is on a hitting streak, Pedroia is the Destroya, Ellsbury seems to be excelling in his new spot, and JD Drew has been better about not hitting into double plays. We’re still waiting for them to get on a streak, but I always have faith that they will.

So long Manny. I hope you are happy now, because you clearly weren’t happy at Boston. I feel like this will do nothing but good. So here’s to life after Manny, may it go well.

Wheels, Deals and Happy Meals

In the course of one weekend, I went from hating the game of baseball, deciding the fat lady had sung on the Sox season, and giving up on baseball all together for about 24 hours to being impressed with the team and hoping for another championship. There is only one team in baseball that can do that with all of their fans so effectively: the Boston Red Sox. Its like one of those movies where you are so angry at the characters that you get up to leave, but once your out, you can’t stand to leave in the middle, so you just go to the bathroom and head back in, only to see the characters completely turn things around.

Lets not talk about the first two games, where the Yankees hot streak clearly got the better of the issues Boston has with leaving men on base, the bullpen, and the lineup. I’m sorry, when Josh Beckett pitches out of his mind and you can’t get him any runs to help out? That is not good. But that’s all I’m going to say about Friday and Saturday. On to Sunday.

Once again, the Sox lean on Jon Lester when they are spiraling into a losing streak. Once again, Jonny pulls out a great game and saves the Sox. I had a lot of confidence going into Sunday, because lets face it, Sidney Ponson? Despite the surprising streak he’s been on, his low inning count and high walk rate had to eventually catch up with him. I’m hoping that this loss sparks a whole new Yankees collapse, though I doubt it because yet again, the big money boys have made some big money deals to bring in a bit of help. Sure enough, the combination of the-pillar-of-the-pitching-staff Lester (note, he may not have the most wins, but he always goes deep, and I always feel a little bit safer when he’s on the hill.) He’s the only one I really trust to pull the team out of a losing streak, he’s really good at that, and like Tek said, he’s only going to get better. Coming from Tek, who is probably one of the best pitching judges out there (he should really become a pitching coach when he retires, with all the good he does behind the plate, I think he’d be great as a coach.) that’s high praise.

Speaking of Tek, guess who is still hitting. Yay! And the Papi-Manny Double-Whammy is back in business as of last night. I think Manny is starting to realize that he needs to be on his best behavior if he wants to get a better deal at the end of the season, which I’m sure his agent has been telling him. But that’s all I’m going to say about the Manny Saga. Anyway, Boston’s bats were a’swinging last night with a bunch of doubles and a two-run dinger from none other than Big Papi. I think he needed that.

1217244978_3318.jpgMan, its good to have the big guy back. And with him back, Dustin can be the lead-off man (I know Tito still wants Jacoby in that spot, but I think he’s not ready yet) followed by Youk (anyone else think Joba should have been ejected from the game for that ball he threw at him? I don’t care how stupid the timing was, there is just no way that wasn’t intentional) then the Papi-Manny duo that hopefully will again start to terrify opposing pitchers. I like the batting order now. I like having Jacoby at the bottom, I think he needs some more time in the bigs before he really is an effective lead-off man. I think this visit to the 9th spot will be good for him. Speaking of Jacoby…

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What a catch. I tell you what, with his speed and defensive ability, I don’t care that his arm strength isn’t that good. That boy has wheels. He’ll be stealing bases again in no time, and with him on, a single can turn into a double or triple. We like to call him wheels.

The trade deadline approaches, and no word yet from Theo about anything. Do we make a quick trade to shore up the bull pen or do we work from within, like with Masterson? (who I still think is going to be a solid reliever). Do we trade Coco or keep him? (keep, sorry Coco) Can we please trade Lugo? I mean…come on, won’t anyone take him? What kind of dealing will be done? Will the Pirates continue to let other teams raid their cookie jar? Who knows. Will the Yankees continue to make ridiculous deals to make sure they are contenders? Of course. They’re the Yankees. They must be in the playoff hunt every year. Its a conspiracy, I tell you, the Steinbrenners are paying off the baseball gods…but thats another story for another day.

So, that’s the wheels, the deals…what about the Happy Meal? After deciding the fat lady had sung on the 2008 season, I went and got myself a Happy Meal to bury my sorrow in a little pack of fries, a burger, and a very small diet coke. It was partially the Happy Meal I had for lunch on Sunday and the Sox performance that night that renewed my faith in the boys. (Not that I had ever actually lost it, but in true Sox fan form, I let it go temporarily) What did I have for lunch today? What do you think. Superstition rules all, and the toy I got today was way better than yesterday.

Next up, Dice takes on the Halos. God help us and not them. (Seriously, I know they’re the Angels, but we could use a little help, and if that help comes in the form of a Rays and Yankees collapse or Sox mega-hot streak, I’ll leave that up to You, Big Man.)

Batter up! 

Justin Masterson, the Savior of the Bull Pen?

The righty with energy and a demonic sinker joins the pen today, and hopefully, will help turn around what has been a big struggle for the Red Sox, especially on the road.  Our pen masters, who used to be lights-out, have been struggling this year. But lets not put the blame entirely on their shoulders (though they make a solid contribution to every loss) but we have got to get some bats going. JD Drew, Mikey, Youk, and especially Dustin have been hitting consistently in almost every game. At times, I feel like JD and Dustin are carrying the team, because they get a hit, they get on base, and then…three strikes your out or a infielder fly…we have got to leave more men on base than any other team in the league.

Maybe that will be solved when Papi returns, which even if he doesn’t hit consistantly (which I think he will) he adds that threat. Because then you have Manny,Youk, Mikey, Papi, JD and Dustin. That’s a scary offense. I think they miss the big man on the road more than they do at home.

So maybe Papi will be the savior of the bats on the road, and Masterson will be the catalyst to get the bullpen back to the level it should be: lights out.

Either way, bring on the Mariners. Lester’s got the start and hopefully, the win.

Closing thoughts:

don’t forget, I’m running for Governor of Red Sox Nation for VA, so log on to RedSox.com and vote for me, Sara Hannon, email hannonse@gmail.com, today!

The AL East, The All-Stars and the Rays, Oh  My!

Sorry for the long hiatus…I was on vacay during the all-star break, but I’m back with notes and ready to go.

O’s game first. We lost. Moving on. O’s again, but this time, we weren’t planning on losing. Wake pitched great, and Youk, fresh from the last strikeout to lose the game Friday, was angry. When is Youk not angry? He is always fired up. Anyway, its the 3rd inning, bases loaded, here comes Youkilis. I was sitting on the couch with my neighbors dog (I live with people who think its okay to have a cookout when the Sox are on TV. eh) and I looked at the dog and I said “I think Youk’s gonna hit one hard.” Sure enough, Grand Slam for Kevin. Yay.

Picture 2.pngManny and J.D. hit solos….that was just a really bad inning for the O’s. I remember thinking towards the end there: wait a minute. Pedroia and Ellsbury have already hit this inning…like I said, bad inning for the O’s. And because it’s an AL East game, they keep updating us on the Rays scores.

Speaking of the Rays, they’ve lost seven in a row going into the break. Seven. Now, for older teams, that doesn’t worry me too much. But for the Rays…well, they’re pitching will keep them in it, maybe, but it all depends on whether or not they let this slump affect them, shatter their confidence. They were on top for three weeks or so, and they couldn’t hold it. Whether that’s over confidence on their part, bad luck, or just some nerves, I don’t know. I don’t see the Sox giving the East up any time soon, and I don’t think the Rays are going to go on a tear again, because as good as they are at home, they are that bad on the road. Unless the Jekyll and Hyde thing can be sorted out, they may fall out of the Wild Card race. Notice, I said “may”. Its baseball, anything can happen.

Okay, so the O’s fell to the Sox 12-1. I just think they had Liz’s number.

On to the next game. The nail biter. I mean, not really, but really. Dice-K threw an enormous number of pitches (scary) walked five (really scary) and four hits (really, really scary) yet somehow, it was scoreless. Paps looked a little sloppy on the save, but thanks to a diving catch by Pedroia and a few other good plays, he notched his 100th save. Nice. And with this win and the Rays loss, the Sox pull a half game ahead of the Rays just in time for the All-Star break.

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So, the All-Stars. Okay, in Paps defense, he really didn’t mean that he thought he should close instead of Mariano Rivera. That was not what he said. What he said is exactly what every back-up was thinking: “I don’t care if [name] is the best [position] in baseball, I want to start at [position].” Duh, people. And New York fans, you can hurl all the insults you want at the boys, they expect it, but leave the pregnant ladies alone, okay. That’s just wrong. I wouldn’t say a bad word to a pregnant woman that would seem threatening, even if she was covered in Yankees gear. So heckle the players, heckle the other fans, but leave the future mommies alone.

Now on to the All-Star game. There were a ton of Sox playing, which is wonderful, and I gotta say, listening to an interview by Tek, I understand so much more why he is so respected by EVERYBODY. (Except maybe A-Rod. They may still have some beef) That is the most humble, intelligent player ever. He was so honored to be there, and I don’t care how bad he hits, you can not ask for a better captain or catcher. The oh-so-classy NY fans booed Tito and the other Sox. Surprised? I think Yaz and Fisk should have been on that field for the opening ceremony, but its the Yanks, what do you expect. This is what made me happy to watch the final All-Star game in Yankee Stadium:

1216219067_5000.jpgCount ’em: 16. Yep. That’s what I’m talkin’ ’bout!

Now really, onto the game. I think Tito did a good job, they all played, they looked like they were having a good time, and hey, the AL won. Again. After 15 innings. And in almost every one, either side had a chance to put the game away for good. It was a weird game. I was in bed, watching it, thinking, I can drift off to sleep to the post-game, it’ll be here soon. (That was in the 11th inning)

You gotta love JD Drew in this game. He comes in, gets on base 4 out of 5 times, one of those was the game-tying 2-run homer. Combine that with good defense, he was an obvious choice for MVP. I mean, really, who else would you pick? Longoria? Its not even close. So congrats to JD.

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In other news, Che-Hsuan Lin, a previously-unknown defensive replacement in the All-Star Futures game from Class A Greenville, was the MVP of that game. The Sox signed him, and are hopeful that with some work, the slugger and stellar defensive player will work his way up onto the Fenway roster, which is all that Lin wants to do. He wants to play for the Sox. I love a guy like that. So, the Sox come in with the most All-Stars for the AL, they get the MVP, and then the farm system gets the Futures MVP. Yep. That’s exactly the way I wanted Yankee stadium to be sent off. Actually, had it been Drew instead of Young who hit the game-winner, that would have been great.

I should not go on hiatus, the blogs get really long. Well, here’s to a strong second half.

In final, closing, seriously, the last bit of news…

I’m trying to be Governor of VA for Red Sox Nation. Its truly my passion, and I would love to do it, so anyone interested, you can endorse me, Sara Hannon, at RedSox.com, my email is: hannonse@gmail.com.

Thanks. See you in the second half! 🙂

And The Hits Go On

After a few games one-hit wonder one run squeaks, the Sox let it all go for Wednesday’s game against the Twins. Final score? 18-5. Score in the first inning? 0-3. Yeah. We all got worried, and then, it was like someone flipped a switch.

Tek got some great hits. Maybe he’s coming out of his slump to go on a hot streak. (Being a catcher myself, it is really hard to concentrate on anything but catching, so working out of a batting slump along with being a game manager…its really, really hard. So I’ve been rooting for him) The best part? His hits were RBI singles.

tek.jpgAnd if that weren’t enough, Jacoby got 4 hits, Manny, Youk and Casey got three (including Youk hitting a homer) The Sox had 23 hits, 10 for extra bases. Jeez.

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And this wasn’t the Mariners we were beating here, its the Twins. The Twins who came to Fenway winning 19 of their last 25 games. Why can’t we play like this against Tampa Bay? Maybe we can now. Maybe it won’t matter, if the Rays continue the slump they are on. The Sox are 1.5 games back on the Rays, hanging around and making things difficult for the young team.

Congrats to the All-Stars. I think Mikey should be at third, but that’s a rant for another day…and Cheers to the Nation for giving J.D. Drew one of the biggest voting boosts in the history of the All-Star game. Nice. We’ve got seven, eight if you count the skipper, I think that’s a fitting way to end the days of Yankee Stadium – filling it with Red Sox players. 🙂

This may sound terrible, but I need Evan Longoria to suck it up from now on and I need Jacoby to have the season of his life from now on. I want him to win Rookie of the Year, but as long as everyone is in love with Longoria, that’s not going to happen. I’m not saying this out of spite for the Rays, I want Jacoby to be the Rookie of the Year, and anyone who stands in the way of that goal is the enemy.

Clay Buchholz is back after his stint in the minors, and since he had such a strong few games in Pawtucket, spending that time to work on his mechanics, we’ll be getting a really good pitcher back who can take out the O’s.

Final thoughts: Manny is always going to be Manny. It’s how life is. But this? I feel like we could have a highlight reel of Manny’s antics and never mention how good a slugger he is. I mean, you have the catch, give a fan a high five, and still get the double play highlight, his often confused base-running, or this:

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Manny has climbed into the Monster before. But the cell phone? Oh well, its just Manny being Manny.

Keep Rocking The All-Star Vote!

We lost. I know. Our bullpen is killing us right now. Guys who have been good, who have been consistent are suddenly losing it. We’ll shape up. We’ll turn it around, and I’m predicting the young, inexperienced-in-the-post-season Rays will fall into place behind Boston.

    I gotta respect what Tampa is doing, but like most people, I’m dubious. Not because they’re the Rays and they’re historically bad, but because they’re young. While young does mean they’re fast, more athletic, and yes, right now, they’re batting smart, but how is this team going to be later in the year? I think they’ll be around, and they’ll trade first place back and forth for a while, but I just think that once they’re on the big stage, where they’ve never been as a team before, I don’t trust the grit of the second-youngest team in baseball when compared to the Phillies, Cubs, and Red Sox. I mean, these teams have been there, They’ve been in the post-season and they’ve been on the big stage and they understand the differences between regular season and post season games. So yes, I think the Rays are contenders, but I don’t think they’ll make it to the top this year.

On another note, we have ONE day left in the All-Star voting, and Tek may get bumped from the list! Here’s the All Star roster if we started right now:
1. Youk
2. Pedroia
3. Satan’s overpaid spawn (A-Rod)
        *Lowell is in a distant 2nd place by over 1,000,000,000 votes
S. Just-as-overpaid Jeter
C. Mauer
DH. Papi
O. Manny
O. Hamilton
O. Suzuki

Note: J.D. Drew moved up two spots last week, meaning he earned almost 400,000 votes in a week. Get voting people! We don’t have much more time! Tek is about 100,000 votes behind Mauer. We are Red Sox Nation! We can do this. Seriously!