Yankees fans saw the putrid arm that is Rob Bell earlier this week, and today the Sox went at him like he was Jaret Wright. He came into the game to stem some bleeding in the 8th, promptly gave up a grand slam to Jay Payton, put three more guys on base, and got out of the inning only when Ramon Vazquez bombed one 8 feet short of another salami. In the ninth, he put two guys on immediately before the Sox mercifully gave up. Only 2 runs charged in 1 2/3, but 4 hits, 3 walks, and one big question: how does this guy have a job?
Sunday, April 24th, 2005
So this is what an ace looks like. We’d almost forgotten. Through five, the Unit looks for the first time like the pitcher we’d been hoping for, though the heat maybe still isn’t that hot. By all rights this should still be a no-no; alas, Bernie’s outfield wheels are turning ever more slowly.
Meanwhile, Andy Phillips has a big hit and looks solid in the field. We hope Joe eventually finds a regular place for him in the lineup (hint: second base!). And though we know it annoys SF, we can’t help but note just how well our Captain is playing. A sac fly, an rbi double, a terrific play in the hole—not to mention 3 (yes, 3) walks the other night.
Saturday, April 23rd, 2005
It’s settled. Chien-Ming Wang is set to take Jaret Wright’s next start, and who knows how many thereafter. Until then, righty Colter Bean (12 hits, 14 ks, and 1 walk in 8.1 relief innings with Columbus) will enter the bullpen fray. Let’s hope Joe gives him a chance…..
Dump our favorite wall-puncher, you say? It may be a bit early for such measures, but we all know patience wears thin in the Bronx, even when the investment is large enough to finance Puff Daddy’s Cristal obsession through the 21st century. Anyway, it seems Billy Connors has arrived to save the day.
Meanwhile, those hoping for a quick hook should keep an eye on the options within the system:
C. M. Wang: 4.15 era, 26ip, 27h, 12r, 5bb, 16k
Ramon Ramirez: 3.78 era, 16.2ip, 16h, 7r, 5bb, 17k
Alex Graman: 5.23 era, 10ip, 8h, 6r, 4bb, 10k
Jeffrey Karstens (1.69 era, 16ip, 3bb, 13k) and Sean Henn (.98 era, 18.1 ip, 7bb, 15k), seem to be doing very well in AA.
"Zambrano for Kazmir"
There are no conclusions to be drawn yet, but that phrase may yet induce instantaneous apoplexy in Mets fans everywhere. Kazmir, in a brief time in the AL, has baffled the Red Sox two of his three starts against them. He’s raw, wild at times, but also overpowering with an old-school rising fastball, a great changeup, from the left side of the mound to boot. Now he just needs to get it under control, no small feat we know. He’s an AL East menace-in-waiting — the kind of guy that could help the Devil Rays act the spoiler late in the season during the onslaught of in-division games. That makes a September tussle against Tampa not a walkover or padding on the record but a real concern. The rest of division should not get overconfident.
As for the backstory of his move to Tampa, well, Jeff Wilpon and his meddling has cost the Mets the chance to watch a prodigious young pitcher develop under the tutelage of one of the smartest, most clever hurlers in history in Pedro Martinez. An industrious, forward-thinking front office would under very rare circumstances barter the upside of Kazmir and the future of the organization for the downside of someone like Victor Zambrano, and the Mets were nowhere near those circumstances last season when they pulled the trigger. The trade, made by a team that almost everyone knew was going nowhere, may well become an enormous embarrassment for the Mets and their legion of fans, one of the biggest in decades. On the other hand, Devil Rays fans, however few there are, owe great thanks to their own front office, and now have something magical to look forward to this season: their own developing Shangri-La under the (spring) and summer moon.
Friday, April 22nd, 2005
OK, so we know that YF has, like, such a major crush on Derek that we’re going to have to put up with his boring and no-longer-interesting Jeter Meter every week. We’re resigned to that. But, since he’s the one who made this about Sox/Yanks positional choices (Edgar’s going to be just fine, thank you very much) it’s only fair that we counter with two really stupid, premature, and simple-minded meters of our own. Here goes.
Red Sox Free Agent Pitcher Meter:
Clement: 2-0, 2.13 ERA, 25IP, 23K, 11BB, 8M per year
Wells: 2-2, 3.51 ERA, 25IP, 16K, 2BB(!), 2M per year plus incentives
Yankees Free Agent Pitcher Meter:
Wright: 2-1, 10.05 ERA, 14IP, 10K, 8BB, 7M per year
Unit: 1-1, 5.13 ERA, 26IP, 27K, 5BB, 16M per year
P.S. How’s Lieber doing?
Thursday, April 21st, 2005
How hot is Derek? So f’ing hot. The hit streak is to 6 games, but that’s the least of it. Our Captain, well, he’s just doing it all, isn’t he? Except maybe extra-base hits, but we know they’ll come. ESPN’s Gary Gillette even says he’s our Jackie Robinson. Okay, maybe that’s pushing it, but read these numbers and weep:
Favored Nitespot: Level V
PS: Renteria’s hitting .203.
Another fun day experimenting with Sox/Yanks stuff on Google Maps. Do a search for "New York City", and then within that result do a further search for "A-Rod" and the following places pop up:
- "A-Rod Grocery Corp", Brooklyn
- "Arod’s Wine and Liquor", Bronx
- United States Goverment EPA (?!), Manhattan
A similar search for "Giambi" brings us to:
- "Last Licks", in Scarsdale
- "Yankee Stadium: Executive Office", Bronx (is Jason getting a talking-to?)
- "New York Mets", Queens (what does Google know that we don’t?)
On the Boston side of things, after having zoomed in on Beantown, search for "Johnny Damon". This takes us to:
- "Boston Red Sox Ballclub"
- "Wild Flour Catering", Charlestown (Iron Chef Damon!?)
- "Falafel King", Boston (unlikeliest nickname ever?)
On the other hand, searching for "Ortizzle" gives us just a message stating "We could not understand the location Ortizzle", while "Big Papi" takes us to the Fogg Art Museum and the Emerson College Department of Humanities and Social Sciences. Professor Ortiz in the house!
I don’t want to make light of mental health issues, but YF’s rantings and ravings, his mood swings, his confused postings of the first 15 games of the season beg the question: is there something wrong with YF? Is he suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder? Is it a panic disorder? What about the possibility of a baseball bi-polarity? In the interest of helping my dear friend, I hereby announce the first ever amateur blogger mental state diagnosis contest. Submit your thoughts in the comments. The winner gets 30 minutes on the couch with YF.
Ah, a mere two weeks ago the Sox were on a pace to lose 162 and finish that same number back of the Bombers. How things change. If the season ended today, we’d be off to the playoffs, with the hated Yankees grabbing the next chartered flight back to LaGuardia, a bus ready to get them to their soon-to-be-emptied lockers. And Cashman would be joining the ranks of the unemployed – finally.
Unfortunately, it’s only April, and by this time next week we might be calling for Terry’s head. 15 down, 147 to go. Keep it up, Boomer!
Wednesday, April 20th, 2005
So the Boston Police are seeking charges against the clown who interfered with Sheffield as well as the beer-thrower down the row. The Sox have revoked his season tickets, and it seems that due process is working. The repeated video viewings seem to show that Christopher House, the perpetrator of this idiocy had, at least to the police’s eyes, malicious intent, and as far as I am concerned there seems to have been enough investigation to warrant these charges. I respect the Sox’ actions as well (and in fact called for them even without considering the fans’ intent), and hopefully this will all be taken care of peacefully and systematically. My first postings about this incident were understandably emotional, and about House’s intent I seem to have been wrong, so a mea culpa is in order. However, I still stand by my contention that players must restrain themselves from going back at fans in almost any situation imaginable: it’s their responsibility to literally remain above the fray, to not lower themselves to the level of someone like Christoper House, whose actions leave a black mark, however small, on the legion of well-behaved fans who visit Fenway.