Dave Pauley makes his major league debut in an effort to help the Sox avoid a pathetic sweep at the hands of those vile foreigner Blue Jays. Xenophobia: the new Yankee-hating.
Go to it, everyone.
(and by the way, Tito takes Youkilis’ wonderful OBP and P/PA and drops them behind the guys who are supposed to drive people like him in. Brilliant.)
by General Baseball · 281 comments
at 7:12 pm in
Anyone else notice that the only one pitching like a true ace for either the Yanks or Sox is Mike Mussina? Curt Schilling’s declined since the 133 pitch ego-stroking game; Josh Beckett sometimes plays the game the right way, and sometimes he has to face Vernon Wells; and we all know about Randy’s issues. That leaves us with Mr. Mussina. He hasn’t faltered yet, and he’s on the mound for our beloved squad tonight. The Yanks are in good hands as they go for 3 in a row against the mighty Tigers. This is your chance to root them on…
by General Baseball · 36 comments
at 6:53 pm in
Let’s indulge in fantasy for a moment. Imagine, if you will, a time when the Red Sox are completely healthy. A time when every player that we hope to see in the everyday lineup actually shows up without the flu, without a broken knuckle, or without a bad big toe. A time when Terry Francona has the ability to really stack things in his favor, if, in fact, he can figure out how to do that. So what is the batting order on that fantastical, fictional, and far-off day? Do you bat Youk at leadoff, since he’s been one of the best in the entire Majors at that spot so far? Or do you put Coco there, since, well, he’s fast, and that’s what you’re supposed to do? Do you continue to bat Jason Varitek as high as Terry has (making us wonder: is Terry high himself?)? Or do you put him at the bottom, risking (boo-hoo!) hurt feelings?
Here’s my ideal lineup for any given day when you don’t have to worry about the opposing pitcher, head-to-head matchups, lefty-righty splits, or all that nonsense. And I didn’t use sabermetrics. Or VORP, or anything else intelligent like that, so take that for what it’s worth. This is simple armchair quarterbacking based on field observations and not much more.
- Youk – how can you not bat the best at a position at that position?
- Loretta – seems like he’s got just terrific bat control, a line drive hitter who moves guys along
- Papi – obvious – he’s insanely productive, why move him?
- Manny – textbook cleanup hitter, though I toyed with moving Youk here, I think he’s that good.
- Coco – here’s the unconventional move – he hits for average, he has speed, he switches, I think he’d be great everyday cover for Manny.
- Lowell – should be hitting higher than 7th, as he is currently.
- Trot/WMP – they would exceed a typical #7′s production
- Tek – ditto for a #8 hitter. Plus he might end up walking more with BB behind him.
- Bathroom Break – can he bat 10th?
Am I nuts? Thoughts?
by General Baseball · 7 comments
at 4:48 pm in
Apparently Newsday was so good, they scooped even Clemens’ agent and the team he signed with:
HOUSTON — Roger Clemens is coming out of retirement for the third time, agreeing to a $22 million contract to pitch for the Houston Astros for the rest of 2006.
The 43-year-old Clemens, who will be entering his 23rd major league season, is agreeing first to a minor league contract that pays $322,000 over the five-month minor league season, and his first start is likely to be June 6 at Lexington, Ky., the Class A team where his oldest son, Koby, plays.
If all goes well, his second minor-league start would be June 11 at Double-A Corpus Christi, Texas, followed by a start June 16 at Triple-A Round Rock, Texas.
Clemens announced his return Wednesday at a news conference.
I find it hard to believe that the Hendrivks brothers and the Astros’ GM had no idea a deal was about to be done when they issued those ridiculous denials, both of which were along the lines of: "I’ve never heard anything like that, and don’t you think I would know?" I have a word for people who lie to journalists, but it’s not very nice.
by General Baseball · 3 comments
at 12:49 pm in
After a second consecutive road win against the frontrunning Tigers, the Yanks are now 10 games over .500 at 30-20, and back in a tie for first with the Sox. There was a lot to feel good about in this game. A big dinger from Giambi to put the Yanks out front in the 11th; a spectacular 3 inning outing from Mo, who appears to be back to all of his former self and then some; and the continued excellent play from Melky “Leche” Cabrera, this year’s Robinson Cano (who’s not doing too badly either). The sour note? Kyle Farnsworth continues to be unreliable, physically and mentally. As noted in the game thread, there’s a big drop between his performance and that of erstwhile setup man Tom Gordon. Compare what they’ve done this year:
Gordon: 23 ip, 14h, 8 bb, 31k, 1.57 era
Farnsworth: 24 ip, 23h, 15bb, 29k, 4.50 era
This is likely to be a continuing frustration. Better stock up on the Rolaids.
by General Baseball · 20 comments
at 11:18 pm in
That line’s from Futurama by the way. I use it because with the Sox’ staff now hoping for Aaron Small-like (2005 version only, please) performances from untested youngsters alll over the place, tonight’s start from Josh Beckett could be huge. Let’s hope the well-tested youngster makes it a perfect May-and-0 and gets the Sox back on track — oh, and keeps us in first. I won’t be here (Mrs. Paul-SF is tasked with texting me the game scores while I’m in a meeting all night), but I’m sure someone can pick up the slack.
by General Baseball · 113 comments
at 6:32 pm in
The Yanks and their fans probably should have expected Aaron Small’s 2006. The reality of his career matched much closer with what he’s done this year than with how he pitched in 2005. This is not a criticism of Cashman’s decision to re-up the journeyman in the hopes that somehow last year wasn’t a fluke. It was worth the gamble; heck, he deserved some type of compensation for helping the Bombers win the East again. But, reality seems to have set in. Small has been awful (even worse than Matt Clement), and it appears that his magic has left him. This is to say that I have very little confidence going into tonight’s match-up against the Tigers (at least in the run prevention side of things), and the Yanks need to seriously consider alternatives to Small from here on out. He is not useful as a fifth starter and he’s not valuable as a long-relief man. Might that crappy farm system hold better options for the spot Aaron Small currently fills? I once heard rumor of a young man named Matt Smith…In any case, the Tigers are countering with a young pitcher themselves, who’s filling in for the injured Mike Maroth (again, heed the wisdom of your peers, Mr. Cashman). Roman Colon, the Matt Smith of the Tigers, takes the mound against our heroes from the Bronx. Again, the odds are against them, but these Yanks have a way of surprising even the most jaded of followers. Let’s hope they do it again. Comment away!
by General Baseball · 167 comments
at 6:24 pm in
Check that! Looks like the Astros are calling BS on Newsday. Great scoop? Bad Newsday. Bad, bad Newsday.
by General Baseball · 4 comments
at 5:37 pm in
There will be no reunions for Roger Clemens in NY or Boston this year, no tipping the scales of the AL East race to his places of erstwhile glory. According to Newsday (nice scoop!) the Rocket has re-upped with Houston, and for roughly $3.5 million/month. Just as we predicted in our brief moment of radio glory.
by General Baseball · 5 comments
at 5:21 pm in
(Apologize for the lateness of this, but thunderstorms kept me offline all last night)
Odd how this game works. The Sox completed a four-game sweep against the Devil Rays, and I felt awful. Last night, the Sox lost the first game of a road trip to a team they can’t seem to beat, and I felt pretty good. Why? Well, rallying from a 6-0 deficit to tie it in the eighth is pretty nice, and take a look at this pitching line:
3 2/3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K
That’s the combined line of Jermane Van Buren and Manny Delcarmen, who weren’t lights-out but were effective in keeping a potent Toronto lineup at bay. This is the bullpen of the future, and the future looked awfully bright last night. If we can get these guys regular work so they don’t become rusty over the rest of the season, they can be incredibly valuable during the stretch run. Not so impressive last night:
4 IP, 9 H, 7 R, 2 BB, 0 K, 2 HR
That’s the combined line of our pitching staff of the present — Matt Clement and David Riske, who took the loss by giving the Jays the lead right back while getting just two outs in the bottom of the eighth. Riske I think just needs to get some innings in so he can get more consistent. Clement just needs to be gotten the heck out of Boston — by any means possible. I’d be surprised if he’s allowed to make another start.
by General Baseball · 8 comments
at 2:34 pm in
Big news from YFSF HQ today. Memorial Day has come and gone. Summer is upon us. And love—love!—is in the air. It is with great pleasure that we announce that our esteemed co-conspiritor Nick-YF has, finally and at long last, popped the big question to his beloved, and following an affirmative answer (what else?) will be entering the bonds of matrimony. We hope you, SFs and YFs both, will join us in wishing him and his bride-to-be every happiness in their new life together. Amen.
But our announcements are not yet complete. We are also pleased to report that Paul SF, who has been filling in with gusto for SF over the past week, will be joining Team YFSF on a permanent basis as of today. Two YFs. Two SFs. There is now balance in our little universe.
Please join us in wishing both Nick and Paul all the best on what is surely a banner day.
YF & SF
by About YFSF · 9 comments
at 1:43 pm in
We were all waiting for the real Randy to show up. Today he did. Perhaps the extra-big ballpark helped. Perhaps a less-than-dominant offense from the Tigers helped. Maybe he had an abnormally good BABIP. Whatever. The Unit had a no-no through 5, and went 6 allowing only 2 hits and 0 runs while striking out 4 on route to his 7th win. Yes, as bad as he’s been, he’s got 7 wins and it’s still May. So we’re gonna go to sleep happy tonight, and we’re gonna pray that Derek’s sore wrist is a minor injury and nothing more. God help us if it’s not.
by General Baseball · 7 comments
at 5:59 pm in
The vacation is over, unfortunately. And so is the series against the Devil Rays. Tonight the Sox head north to the godless, soulless, Memorial Day-less land of Canada, where they face off against Roy Halladay and the Blue Jays. Is it just me, or is anyone else getting sick of these AL East matchups? The imbalanced schedule has major merits, but this never-ending string of in-division games is starting to get tedious. We want to see some new faces, not the over-enlarged noggin of Shea Hillenbrand, again.
Tonight’s matchup couldn’t look worse for the Sox. Matt Clement vs. Roy Halladay. Timlin on the DL. Pena on the DL. Manny uncertain. Just when you think it’s all getting Coco-pacetic, the baseball gods remind you not to get too cocky. So our expectations are low, but we’re looking for a happy ending — to the vacation, the holiday weekend, and tonight’s ballgame. Chat away.
by General Baseball · 134 comments
at 4:28 pm in
It seems that every year there’s a team that defies expectations, achieving far more than what anyone might have predicted for them. This year it’s the Tigers, leaders of the AL Central and holders of MLB’s best record, at 35-15. It’s a huge turnaround for the team, and if you want to know how it’s happening, look no further than the runs allowed column. Tiger pitchers (with help from their spacious home ballpark) have allowed opponents just 178 runs this year—that’s 25 fewer than the next lowest (St. Louis) and 37 fewer than the 2nd best AL club (the ChiSox). This afternoon, the Yankees face one of the team’s several success stories, Jeremy Bonderman (5-3, 4.57), a 23-year-old flamethrower already in his 4th full season. He’ll face Randy Johnson, who continues to try and reinvent/find himself. Everyone in Yankeeland is watching closely to see what Johnson brings; his season will do much to shape that of his team. Let’s hope for the best. In the meanwhile, this is your place for comment on all the action on a lovely Memorial Day. Post away!
by General Baseball · 95 comments
at 12:21 pm in
So the ninth inning (1 H, 5 BB, 1 K, 1 PB, 4 R) wasn’t that great. And, hey, the only consistent relief pitcher on the staff whose name doesn’r rhyme with Shlapelbon is now on the DL, apparently because of our old friend the WBC. But you know what, the Red Sox won, 5-4, and swept the Devil Rays in four games.
So forget that our DL is rapidly approaching the level of a certain over-the-hill bunch from the Bronx’s, and that the only Blue Jay pitcher the Sox have won a game against all year is now in the minors, or that Matt Clement will be facing Roy Halladay tomorrow to kick off a road trip against teams that will have no problems scoring 14 runs in the ninth against pitchers like Seanez and Tavarez. It’s a day for positivity, so here’s the positive:
1. Tim Wakefield has it goin’ on this year, and he actually got some run support. I see 15 wins, at least, for him. 2. Mark Loretta remains the best off-season acquisition for the price in baseball. 3. Coco is back, and wasted little time getting a hit in Fenway Park. Our lineup — finally — is whole. Now, let’s score some runs with it. Because we’re going to need them.
by General Baseball · 7 comments
at 5:59 pm in
It’s the odd 2 p.m. start for the Sox this afternoon, and it looks like a four-game sweep will be required to maintain our two-game lead on the Yankees. It’s Wakefield vs. Hendrickson, and the Sox will try to score more than three runs so that Timmeh can actually get a win. That looks possible, considering Hendrickson’s line at Fenway: 0-3, 8.53 in seven games.
by General Baseball · 151 comments
at 1:36 pm in