‘Mr. Clutch Does It Again!’

It’s a fine line between heart and horrible.

Had the Sox not displayed "heart" the past two games, they would have a three-game lead entering a three-game series with the Yankees, reeling from a sweep at the hands of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Instead, they would simply be playing horrible ball.

Two dramatinc comebacks masks the "horrible," but they cannot erase it.

It’s fantastic to see the Sox bats come alive late — even if it is against the likes of the Devil Ray relievers. But 2006 showed us that having walkoff wins and late rallies can cover up the truth that your team just isn’t that good. It’s one reason why I thought the Sox’ lack of walk-off wins this year was more satisfying than frustrating: Boston had the best record in baseball largely without needing to stage last-ditch rallies.

These last two games, though, have held far more import than, say, the walk-offs we saw last July. With just two weeks remaining, and the series with New York coming up, these games assured that even with a sweep, the Sox will still be up by two games with 12 remaining. There’s no underestimating the value those wins have late in September.

There’s also the question of whether two such inspirational wins can have a carryover effect into the Yankee series. We saw that four straight blowouts of the White Sox and, conversely, a Tiger blowout of the Yankees did nothing for momentum earlier this month. What the rallies have done is disguise significant concerns heading into this series.

The Sox’ starting pitching, beyond Beckett and Schilling, has been shaky. Two straight bad starts from Wakefield, three from Matsuzaka, and continuing inconsistency from Lester. Other than David Ortiz, the Sox’ bats (especially Jason Varitek’s) were beyond frustrating against a hittable pitcher. These things must be rectified if the Sox want to maintain their division lead or, more importantly, make it to and win the World Series.

Ending on a happy note, the Sox’ bullpen continues to be amazing. 5.1 scoreless innings last night, with props to Julian Tavarez for sterling long-relief work in what has really been an extraordinary season for him, all things considered, preceded by 4.1 innings of one-run ball after Wakefield and Snyder spit the bit. That’s 9.2 innings, 7 hits, 1 run, 1 walk, 7 strikeouts and two very important victories.

102 comments… add one
  • I couldn’t agree more. I distinctly remember jumping up and down (literally) when the Sox staged 2 amazing come-from-behind rallies at Fenway late last year against the Indians. A few days later it gradually sunk it. Wait -the Indians? Man, we should have been killing a team like that, not waiting for Fausto Carmona to implode on the mound. Twice. Sometimes you win the game, but sometimes the other team just loses.

    Mike September 13, 2007, 11:11 am
  • “These things must be rectified”–this phrasing amuses me. It reminds me of that football-announcer cliche, “He has to make that play,” for which we have Madden to thank. Human beings playing sport are just not capable of perfection, especially in baseball. The Sox get Manny back; this should be a boost. Aside from that, and some minor lineup tinkering, I’d say the idea that they can “rectify” anything is kind of silly? They’re going to play the best they can, and let the chips fall where they may. But maybe I’m just a fatalist.

    YF September 13, 2007, 11:15 am
  • I can’t get too down on having to beat Tampa’s bullpen two nights in a row because out pitchers crapped out. I mean, Tampa did just take two from the Yankees, so it’s not like they’re playing bad. In fact, slugging, HR, and several batting statistics are led by none other than the Rays in the last month. They’ve been hot, but getting beat late. I’m down on the pitching in the back, of course, but really, Tampa has been swinging big sticks lately.
    Also, Ortiz’ HR was one of the most catchable balls I’ve ever seen, but like someone pointed out below, I’ve seen a TON of misplayed balls in that area over the year.

    Brad September 13, 2007, 11:18 am
  • out = our pitchers…

    Brad September 13, 2007, 11:19 am
  • also:
    over the yearS, not just this year…
    ha, I’m tired.

    Brad September 13, 2007, 11:19 am
  • Mainly, it’s the starters that must be rectified. Manny’s bat will help a lot on offense.
    But I don’t think it’s leaning out on too shaky a limb to say that if the Sox’ starters don’t perform better, Boston isn’t going to be doing much this October. And isn’t that what a pitching coach’s job is? To “rectify” things that have gone askew with the pitchers?
    Also, I need some advice. I’ll probably be in Boston on a business trip for a week in October. I get to choose the week. Do I shoot for the ALDS week, the ALCS week, or the World Series week? And what, aside from the Sox online lottery, is the best way to get playoff tickets without mortgaging my house?

    Paul SF September 13, 2007, 11:27 am
  • Paul,
    ALDS. Last year, I bought tickets to game 6 of the ALCS – I could have gotten some to the ALDS and actually seen a game. Not trying to say the sox won’t advance, but imagine what a drag it would be to schedule a trip around a game that doesn’t happen…
    You might want to try StubHub?

    Andrews September 13, 2007, 11:32 am
  • Take the sure bet. I am the proud owner of quite a few World Series and ALCS tickets that never happened. ALDS.
    I don’t know if you can use Stub-Hub for the Sox, but I use them sometimes to sell and buy and you can get lucky sometimes price wise. I doubt that you will find a bargain anywhere for the playoffs, but it’s worth a try.

    John - YF (Trisk) September 13, 2007, 11:33 am
  • Andrews, great minds think alike, that’s hysterical!

    John - YF (Trisk) September 13, 2007, 11:34 am
  • I’d shoot for ALCS. WS is often anti-climactic and ALCS is more dramatic than ALDS. (ALDS and ALCS drawing from same pool of AL teams with ALCS getting the two best of that pool as opposed to drawing from the lesser pool of NL teams). Also I think most people would expect Boston to get to the ALCS. Not so sure re: WS.

    IronHorse (yf) September 13, 2007, 11:34 am
  • My (much lesser) dilemma: will be in DC area for last weekend of season and could get tix to last NYY game of year at Camden Yards but it will be a bit of a hassle schedule-wise and domestic-relations-wise (my Yank-stadium tix package plus perennial playoff game attendance wears a bit on the wife come this time of year!).
    Anyone think that will be a meaningful game? I don’t think so as I pretty much assume, barring huge NYY streak or flop, that by then Boston has the division and NY has the WC. If you were in my shoes, would you go for that game?

    IronHorse (yf) September 13, 2007, 11:43 am
  • Yeah, ALCS is always the better event. ALDS is sometimes good a good one, but truth be told, the ALCS in Boston will probably be NY or LA, which will be awesome games to be at.
    You may want to try Craig’s List as well. It works for me everytime I need tickets on short notice
    http://www.craigslist.org, then Boston, then tickets.

    Brad September 13, 2007, 11:44 am
  • On StubHub right now, for Saturday’s game against the Yankees, there are $25 dollar face value bleacher seats selling for over $400 dollars, some in the $300 range.
    Imagine what ALCS tickets will go for?

    LocklandSF September 13, 2007, 11:45 am
  • IH, go man! It’s an awesome park, and when it’s Yanks and Sox, you’re sure to be surrounded by like minded fans.

    Brad September 13, 2007, 11:45 am
  • Like Brad, I also use Criag’s List pretty much all the time.

    LocklandSF September 13, 2007, 11:49 am
  • Yeah CL is an awesome forum for whatever you need.

    Brad September 13, 2007, 11:53 am
  • I’m not going to lie, that Sox win hurts. I usually don’t care if the Sox win or lose (I keep all my focus on the Yankees) but god damn it, Delmon Young, what the fuck?
    Still, I believe that the Yanks can take 2 out of 3 from Fenway this weekend. I don’t know. Beckett, Matsuzaka nor Schilling scare me. Perhaps, it’s a silly, but I’m just not fazed.

    snowballa September 13, 2007, 12:24 pm
  • PAUL! For the sake of the blog, if nothing else, go with the ALCS and the possible Yanks-Sox matchup! NO BRAINER!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    YF September 13, 2007, 12:27 pm
  • That’s fairly rational, snowballa. Only Schilling has a quality start against the Yanks this year. I’m hoping they turn that around.
    At the same time, I must say I’m not really scared of Pettitte, Wang, or Clemens. I think the games will come down to timely hits (just look at the first two games of last series…really could have gone either way).

    Devine September 13, 2007, 12:35 pm
  • IronHorse- I live in DC, and I’m having the same dilemna. I even tried to work back the rotation to see if I could go see Hughes, but Mussina and Clemens are making that kind of prediction impossible.
    I may still go though. It’s a Yankees game, regardless of whether it’ll affect the standings. But, that said, the way things are going, I wouldn’t be surprised if the AL game down to those last two series. Everybody’s magic number have been hovering around 4 games short of the season’s end.
    The other thing to keep in mind, though- Baltimore has owned the Yanks this year. It may just end up being a downer of a game.

    KurticusMaximus September 13, 2007, 12:37 pm
  • Man, my last comment is chock full of typos. Sorry.

    KurticusMaximus- YF September 13, 2007, 12:40 pm
  • So this is what we’re looking at?
    Friday, Sept. 14
    Matsuzaka vs. Pettitte
    Saturday, Sept. 15
    Beckett vs. Wang
    Sunday, Sept. 16
    Schilling vs. Clemens
    I literally think this is a 50/50 toss up, every game.

    Anonymous September 13, 2007, 12:49 pm
  • IH – these games awlays mean something. Well, definitely for the Yanks, since Detroit is hot, but also if Angels/Indians finish with the best record in the East, they would be able to choose the 8 day playoff schedule instead of 7 – which would benefit the wild card as well.. which would be the Yanks, perhaps.

    Lar September 13, 2007, 12:50 pm
  • Stubhub is nice for last minute tickets of games no one cares though. I got decently good seats at Phil Hughes’ first game for 12$ a pop.

    Lar September 13, 2007, 12:51 pm
  • Re: Whoever posted the pitching match-ups.
    I think Friday is NY’s best match-up, given DiceK’s recent history. Even if he turns it around, though, I have a lot of faith in Pettite.
    Saturday is definitely a toss-up. That one is gonna be a great game.
    And Sunday is probably Boston’s best chance, given all the questions surrounding Clemens. I’m really nervous about how he’s gonna perform, that one could turn out to be a bad game for us YKs. Of course, maybe The Rocket will show up, but that’s a pretty big question mark at this point.
    The real question is- who gets hit first? I think Friday will be pretty quiet, but Saturday could get ugly. There’s definitely some bad blood left over from that last series, and especially if the umps don’t warn both teams from the outset, I think things could get pretty ugly.

    KurticusMaximus- YF September 13, 2007, 12:59 pm
  • KM – I definitely think that every umpire warns both benches on all three days. They’re fully aware of what could go down, and it’s stupid. Nobody wants to see Beckett plunk one off of A-Rods hands or Clemens kill Pedroia. It’s too late in the year for that crap, but I could definitely see an ugle scene if it does happen.

    Brad September 13, 2007, 1:03 pm
  • ugh. Ugly scene…

    Brad September 13, 2007, 1:03 pm
  • I posted the match-ups.
    I agree with Brad, I’m thinking warnings to both benches before each game. I think this hurts Clemens the most because he loves the inside of the plate.

    LocklandSF September 13, 2007, 1:06 pm
  • devine, i thought that the 3rd game of the last series could have gone either way as well. schilling pitched a great game, and a hanger or two from wang could have changed things in a hurry.
    these teams always match up well. i never even bother trying to figure out who will win a given game, as anything can and will happen when they get out there. all i expect are ulcers to form and bottles to be emptied.
    god, this game against toronto will be boring knowing what lies ahead. hopefully the yankees can focus better than i can.

    Anonymous September 13, 2007, 1:15 pm
  • Hey!
    I did not have the time to read the forward so… is ‘Mr. Clutch Does It Again!’ meant for a thread about Papi’s heroics or Arod’s weakness?
    If the latter, I’m all for diving head first into this one!
    JK – later, gators. SOX sweep.

    BostonRAW September 13, 2007, 1:33 pm
  • Clownboy returns!!! Clownby, keep it coming!!!
    My latest favorites of Clownboy’s many habits fun for children of all ages:
    1. announcing the “conclusion” of threads just because he is no longer participating (how will the rest of the kiddies ever continue without clownboy’s insights?!?!
    2. catchy phrases for boys and girls, like “later gators”. Okie-dokie Clownboy – after a while crocodile! Yipee!!!! Honk-honk!

    IronHorse (yf) September 13, 2007, 2:01 pm
  • Disengage.

    Paul SF September 13, 2007, 2:08 pm
  • Speaking of Ortiz though, I just realized nobody in the American League is higher than he is in all three Triple Crown categories. He’s eighth in BA, third in home runs and sixth in RBI. The two guys ahead of him in home runs? A-Rod, who is four points behind in batting, and Pena, who is 50 points behind.
    A-Rod’s obviously having the better year, but I thought that was pretty cool.

    Paul SF September 13, 2007, 2:19 pm
  • I’m confused. Isn’t A-Rod 1st in home runs and RBI?

    Nick-YF September 13, 2007, 2:22 pm
  • an HGH test for MLB by ’08?
    http://tinyurl.com/3c3blc
    nice.

    Anonymous September 13, 2007, 2:25 pm
  • Paul,
    A-Rod leads in two of the three categories, no?

    Brad September 13, 2007, 2:26 pm
  • Yeah, Nick. Hmm, now I’m confused. Disregard. :-P I shouldn’t post too soon after lunch. My foggy brain isn’t up to it…

    Paul SF September 13, 2007, 2:26 pm
  • “I shouldn’t post too soon after lunch.”
    A 2 martini lunch, no doubt…

    Andrews September 13, 2007, 2:35 pm
  • Haha. Sonic + leisurely walk by the river does not = ready for afternoon of work.

    Paul SF September 13, 2007, 2:43 pm
  • i just saw this stat on the season alex rodriguez is having:
    “He leads the majors this season with 21 homers that either tied the game or gave his team the lead.”
    amazing.
    he obviously leads the team in HRs, but the second best total on the team is 23 from matsui.
    essentially, he’s hit as many homers to tie it up or go ahead as anybody else on the team has under any circumstances.
    ….plus an “extra” 31, y’know, to pad his stats… which alone would STILL be 8 more than any other yankee.
    incredible.

    Anonymous September 13, 2007, 2:47 pm
  • Sonic? Where do you live? I see commercials for that place all the time, except there are none around here. They look really good.

    John - YF (Trisk) September 13, 2007, 2:51 pm
  • the rodriguez post was me. i forgot the link. here it is:
    http://tinyurl.com/2boyj5

    Yankee Fan In Boston September 13, 2007, 2:53 pm
  • Texas, Trisk. They’re everywhere here. It’s the next step up past Dairy Queen. (Every town of any size has a DQ. Any town of close to moderate size has a Sonic. I think McDonald’s is the next step after that).
    It’s not bad. Good burgers, good breakfasts, good dessert, cheap price.

    Paul SF September 13, 2007, 2:57 pm
  • Great point anon. A-Rod has come up huge.
    Not as a knock on his year in any way, but generally, are there any other YFs who agree with me that the Rogers Centre seems to get to him lately?
    It may have something to do with “ha” and the aftermath (being thrown at multiple times), but even before that, when he had the relatively rough times last year, the bottom I recall was at the Rogers Centre, both in hitting and in errors. He flubbed a couple throws to first in the same game last year if I recall and looked lost at the plate.
    This current series (of course all can change tonight) he has also been more out of sorts than the incredibly hot way he came in. Yes he got two dribble singles the first night, but his at-bats have been much worse I think than the gams leading to these three and again a weird error last night – the kind you almost see before it happens because he takes too much time, crouches so low, and you sense the throw might go awry even more than when he is rushed and having to make a superfast transition and cannon-throw.
    Anyway, it is just my sense that in the past two years (not over his career), the Rogers Centre has been struggle for him. Maybe it’s the late strip-club visiting.

    IronHorse (yf) September 13, 2007, 2:58 pm
  • Arod is insanely good, the best, the absolute best. It is impossible to argue that, completely impossible.

    LocklandSF September 13, 2007, 3:07 pm
  • well.. it isn’t impossible, lockland. i couldn’t come up with an argument to the contrary, but i’m sure someone could.

    Yankee Fan In Boston September 13, 2007, 3:11 pm
  • Maybe there are different hops there because of the turf. Not sure though.

    Lar September 13, 2007, 3:12 pm
  • Pujols is pretty good too.
    Early – A-Rod vs. Albert
    Age 21: 119 to 158 OPS+
    Age 22: 135 to 155 OPS+
    Age 23: 133 to 189 OPS+
    Age 24: 167 to 175 OPS+
    Age 25: 164 to 167 OPS+
    Age 26: 152 to 180 OPS+
    Age 27: 148 to 154 OPS+
    Of course A-Rod had one year at 20 (160 OPS+) and I’m not sure Pujols is really 27 this year. A-Rod is probably more valuable based on defense, but Albert isn’t too bad himself even as 1B is not nearly as important. But just based on the hitting numbers, it will be interesting to see if he keeps up.

    Pete September 13, 2007, 3:35 pm
  • Manny’s OPS+ numbers are comparable, if not a little better than A-Rod’s. That said, he is in no way the all-around player than A-Rod has been. But if we’re talking about greatest hitters of our generation, Manny is up there, higher than A-Rod.

    Nick-YF September 13, 2007, 3:46 pm
  • pujols was the guy i was thinking of, too, pete. it will be fun to watch.

    Yankee Fan In Boston September 13, 2007, 3:48 pm
  • I really don’t believe Pujols is as young as he claims. I don’t know. Maybe that’s because I have an irrational dislike for Pujols.
    Since we’re talking young hitters, I just love Miguel Cabrera.

    Paul SF September 13, 2007, 3:49 pm
  • I look at Miguel Cabrera and see a young Manny Ramirez. Everything about him reminds me of Manny – even the opposite field power, which I think is something that Manny has always had that nobody else did. Manny probably hits more homeruns to RF than any right-handed batter I can think of. His power is unbelievable.

    Brad September 13, 2007, 3:53 pm
  • So which team has the best all-around left side of the infield?
    The Mets, Yanks or Marlins?

    Nick-YF September 13, 2007, 3:55 pm
  • Any one think the Sox (or Yanks) will make a run at Cabrera? Sox have the hole at 3B (RF for the Yanks?) and Marlins had 375 people show up last night.

    Pete September 13, 2007, 3:57 pm
  • Defensively the Mets.
    Offensively the Yankees. Although it’s close. Reyes is such a game changer. He really is an unreal talent.
    Cabrera is not long for 3B.

    John - YF (Trisk) September 13, 2007, 3:58 pm
  • i see a lot of manny in cabrera, too, paul. i have an irrational dislike for both of those guys and i think my issues with cabrera stem completely from the manny connection in my head. clearly amazing hitters, though.

    Yankee Fan In Boston September 13, 2007, 3:58 pm
  • 375
    wow

    Nick-YF September 13, 2007, 3:58 pm
  • Yeah, I think Florida lets go of Cabrera and get a TON for him. Right now, I’d give them pretty much whatever they wanted for him.

    Brad September 13, 2007, 4:02 pm
  • i read that the 375 total included some reporters, too.
    sad.

    Yankee Fan In Boston September 13, 2007, 4:03 pm
  • Great link and pic on Baseball Musings about the 375 people. That’s the emptiest stadium I’ve ever seen for a baseball game. Absolutely amazing.
    Yeah, I think Florida lets go of Cabrera and get a TON for him. Right now, I’d give them pretty much whatever they wanted for him.
    I would too, Brad. Anyone but Buchholz, probably. Maybe he’s the Sox’ super secret weapon for the offseason. Ha.

    Paul SF September 13, 2007, 4:04 pm
  • If that’s the case, then Luxury Tax is pretty much paying for everything down there. I can’t imagine what must be going through their heads! I mean, Hanley Ramirez was used to 30k showing up to his games since day one! ha. Shame. How long can they survive that way?

    Brad September 13, 2007, 4:05 pm
  • Thought people might want to check out Jayson Stark’s latest column here. Couple things of interest:
    1) He has Sabathia winning the Cy Young, Beckett #2, and Wang out of the top five. Just to add fuel to some long running arguments around here.
    2) Somewhat to my surprise, the Red Sox have the best record in baseball against fellow (likely) playoff teams. But it’s pretty close.
    3) Letterman’s Rizzuto joke at the end made me laugh out loud.

    stuck working September 13, 2007, 4:05 pm
  • Buchholz, Ellsbury, Lowrie, and Masterson?

    Pete September 13, 2007, 4:06 pm
  • Oh, Paul…I give up Buchholz or Ellsbury plus a huge package to go with either of them. I don’t give up both together but either one is okay.

    Brad September 13, 2007, 4:06 pm
  • I’d definitely give up Ellsbury, Lowrie and Masterson, but not Buchholz with them. Replace him with Ellsbury, but no way do I give up both to them for a hitter.

    Brad September 13, 2007, 4:07 pm
  • I look around the league, and he’s definitely the next young stud that, barring huge injury problems, will hit 500HR. It could be awfully nice to have him do it in a Sox uniform, but I would imagine that if A-Rod opts out, the Yankees will offer up a HUGE package for him, get him, and A-Rod will go to LAA where he’s forgotten about for most of the year.
    That’s the worst case scenario I can think of:)

    Brad September 13, 2007, 4:09 pm
  • I don’t see how they get him without Buchholz AND Ellsbury plus more.
    The Dodgers could put together a good offer around Kemp, Loney, Billingsly, and/or Laroche. Yankees could move some talent, and maybe the Angels too. Mets maybe will Milledge and Pelfrey leading the offer. Question is how far to go in the bidding.

    Pete September 13, 2007, 4:10 pm
  • Brad: I’d like to see an HR spray chart comparing Alex and Manny. My guess is Alex has more opposite field homers.
    One of the things that has separated Alex from Manny and Papi this year, is how dominant he’s been from both sides of the plate. Manny and Papi have, frankly, mediocre numbers when facing same-handed pitching. (For Manny this is an aberation from his career numbers.) Alex has been killing lefties and righties. It’s no knock on Papi, but for a right hander to be hitting so many home runs—it’s pretty amazing. There’s a reason lefties make up a disproportianate percentage of the power leader boards. And that makes the things that guys like Alex and Manny do all the more remarkable.

    YF September 13, 2007, 4:12 pm
  • I think it’s going to depend on what A-Rod does at the end. If A-Rod stays, I think Boston will offer a ton, but I don’t think they’ll have to give up both, and if they do, they’re stupid, at which time some other team (hopefully not the Angels) will offer a package that will land him. If A-Rod goes, NY will offer up a nice package as well, and he may go there, at which time Boston will have to push to not only keep Manny, but sign A-Rod as well.
    Which would suck because I don’t want Manny on the team anymore.

    Brad September 13, 2007, 4:14 pm
  • With all due respect Pete, if the Dodgers trade Loney, Billingsley AND LaRoche, they would be nuts. Cabrera is a great talent, but those 3 are top notch prospects. That would be a steep price to pay.

    John - YF (Trisk) September 13, 2007, 4:16 pm
  • I agree, YF, but I have to disagree with the opposite field thing. Manny hits more HR to RF than he does to left it seems. Since I clearly don’t see A-Rod play everynight (I flip quick), I can’t argue this, but I do know that Manny goes into the bullpen with his shots all the time.
    For years, Manny killed lefties and righties, but now it seems he doesn’t hit lefties as much as he used to. Pettitte is a prime example. His numbers against Pettitte are crazy, but they all come from a few years ago. All of the sudden he stopped owning lefties like he used to.

    Brad September 13, 2007, 4:18 pm
  • brad-
    the red sox need to keep manny. he is one of the few things that keeps me from liking that team too much. unless they hold onto tavarez, sign bonds and bring back millar, they’d be far too likable.

    Anonymous September 13, 2007, 4:19 pm
  • re: that 375 attendance –
    I went to a game at Cleveland Muni in 1990 when the Indians sucked, it was a mid-week night game and there were maybe 4000 people there. In a stadium that held 80K+ that basically felt like nobody. 5% filled, by the math. Weirdest atmosphere I have ever been to, it was like sitting behind the bench at a little league game, you could hear everything.

    SF September 13, 2007, 4:20 pm
  • Yeah, if the Dodgers offer that package, neither team here can match it, and they surely deserve him…and need him to be awesome! ha.

    Brad September 13, 2007, 4:20 pm
  • sign bonds and bring back millar, they’d be far too likable.
    ha. There’s always Schilling, who I think they will surely bring back next year for a last go-round. But, re: Manny, I’m just at the point now that I can see a player like Jones or Cabrerra being more valuable than him, without his press distractions and late season, um, injuries while playing NY.
    I’d take Jones over Cabrerra, though. I love great defensive outfielders who play every day and hit the ball real, real far.
    Plus, Jones is still young. Not Cabrera young, but young still yet.

    Brad September 13, 2007, 4:24 pm
  • I am not a proponent of what I am about to suggest, but could anyone see the Sox going after Eric Chavez in the offseason? He’s got four years left on an $11M/year deal, he’s only 29 (3.5 years younger than Lowell), he’s a slick fielder, used to be a good offensive player. Worst part about Chavez is that bat has suffered terribly for two years now. He’s not the type of guy that Billy Beane wants on his roster with $44M left, I wouldn’t think. A young pitcher and position player (NOT Buck or Ells) might get a deal for such a big contract done. Or, does 3/33M get Lowell back in the fold and therefore make this a moot point? I just don’t see the Sox inking Lowell through age 37, going any more than three years on a deal.

    SF September 13, 2007, 4:30 pm
  • A fan got tossed from the 375 game for heckling an umpire, which is pretty petty on the ump’s part. The only reason he could hear him is because of the lack of fans. Is it only legal to heckle umps when they can’t pick you out from the crowd?

    Paul SF September 13, 2007, 4:30 pm
  • I’m not saying that the Dodgers put up all those guys, just that they can decide to match pretty much any other package and they need his big bat while they can afford the salary.
    I can’t see Beane giving up Chavez for anything that doesn’t include Buchholz. He is an excellent 3B and the price is very good for them, plus he’s a leader there.

    Pete September 13, 2007, 4:35 pm
  • Eric Chavez is a very interesting player SF. I wonder what BB would want in return for him? His defense has always been solid, problem being his hitting has really fallen off. His injury situation is tough as well, seems like he is always hurt. Talents there though, so I agree it might be worth the risk.

    John - YF (Trisk) September 13, 2007, 4:35 pm
  • SF – I absolutley think that kind of money could get Lowell back in town, and Chavez is definitely not better at the plate or in the field than Lowell, though he is very, very good defensively. Okay, I’ll call that a match, but I think Lowell is the better player, albiet a bit older.

    Brad September 13, 2007, 4:37 pm
  • If they Sox were to offer Lowell 3/36 with performance bonus’ (seems to be very popular with this front office), I think he takes that deal, and I’d much rather have Lowell.

    Brad September 13, 2007, 4:38 pm
  • Gotcha Pete. They do have a pretty darn good 3 to comprise a package from that’s for sure. I think LaRoche will pan out though, if I’m them I don’t make that move. I would rather keep Loney,LaRoche and Billingsley together.

    John - YF (Trisk) September 13, 2007, 4:38 pm
  • Maybe Ells and Lowrie for Chavez, but Lowrie looks like he could be a decent SS or 3B. Why would the Sox do that deal?
    Andruw is 30. He’ll come back some from this year but I fear they spent his money on Drew. Would you want them spending 150 million on two aging corner OF’s over the next five years?

    Pete September 13, 2007, 4:40 pm
  • I don’t like Jones, and am not impressed with Chavez. Lowell’s bat as he declines over the next three years is likely to wind up the same or better than Chavez is now, without giving up anything more than cash.
    Also don’t see the need for Jones. We’ve got enough center fielders to try to find spots for.

    Paul SF September 13, 2007, 4:48 pm
  • “[Player X] is 30. He’ll come back some from this year but I fear they spent his money on [Player Y]. Would you want them spending 150 million on two aging corner OF’s over the next five years?”
    is it just me, or does that sound like a yankee-type dilemma? another team dealing in this type of spending is still surreal to me.

    Yankee Fan In Boston September 13, 2007, 4:50 pm
  • Difference is the Sox have a 100 million payroll for next year. They can afford it if they wanted to. I’m just not sure they should. Those truly fantastic players just aren’t reaching free agency anymore. Better to wait for one of those (Santana, Cabrera) or try to get them in a trade and lock them up.

    Pete September 13, 2007, 5:03 pm
  • “Today is one of those days the Yankees get hosed by the schedule. It’s the final game of a road series, but instead of getting a day game and a chance to get to Boston at a reasonable hour, the Yankees play at 7:05 p.m.”
    Peter Abraham is at it again. I guess it’s for luck more then anything. Being that he complained before the last series also and we all know how that turned out.

    John - YF (Trisk) September 13, 2007, 5:12 pm
  • Jeez, the Yankees have won seven in a row. Their schedule has obviously wreaked havoc with their ability to play well. They missed Halladay due to the Jays’ game on Monday, was that a conspiracy of the schedule-makers? When is Pete going to shut the f*ck up about this schedule crap? It’s like he’s an eleven year old fan or something, not a beat writer.

    SF September 13, 2007, 5:21 pm
  • He’s really gone beyond the point of respectability. The Yankees are pretty comfortably going to the playoffs, have the best record in baseball after the All-Star break, and he’s whined about the schedule, the last call on Buchholz’s no-hitter, and now the schedule again. What will he do if the Yankees win the World Series? Complain that the offseason is too short to give them a chance to truly celebrate?
    At any rate, after the last two wins (and looking at what happened last time), I’d rather the Sox not have the off-day. Keep that momentum rolling!

    Paul SF September 13, 2007, 5:23 pm
  • I’m sorry that A-Rod makes my heart flutter.

    Peter Abraham September 13, 2007, 5:41 pm
  • Now I’m really confused.

    Paul SF September 13, 2007, 5:43 pm
  • Not sure if that was really Pete (don’t think so), but if our readership could not impersonate those who have actually frequented our site (as Pete has) or who are members of the blogosphere it would be much appreciated.
    And if it is Pete, I have nothing to add that is of any use.

    SF September 13, 2007, 5:43 pm
  • Look, we moderators can check IP addresses so we can do a very fast search to see if there is any funny business.
    So please do NOT impersonate other people.

    SF September 13, 2007, 5:48 pm
  • I was me. I didn’t like being implicated in scheduling whining. :)

    Pete September 13, 2007, 5:50 pm
  • OK. When I typed “Pete” I meant “Pete Abe”, not you, Pete.
    But please don’t do this again!

    SF September 13, 2007, 5:54 pm
  • Has P-Abe really been around these parts? What there a previous controversy?

    Pete September 13, 2007, 5:57 pm
  • I know – it just made me do a double take. I won’t do it again.

    Pete September 13, 2007, 6:00 pm
  • Re: The “Scheduling Problem”
    Getting extra rest is overrated, anyway. The Yanks’ll be plenty rested by the time they show up in Boston, and like Paul SF said, playing games lets them [try to] keep the momentum going.
    Besides, I’m still pulling for A-Rod to hit 10 more HRs, and another game is another chance.

    KurticusMaximus- YF September 13, 2007, 6:02 pm
  • “if the Yankees win the World Series?”
    Paul, that has a hell of a nice ring to it. Thanks! :) Drop that line a few more times, will ya?

    Andrews September 13, 2007, 6:35 pm
  • Went to a game that was the make-up of two rain outs, rescheduled as 1st half of day-night doubleheader at Yanks stadium on a workday (Wed I think) vs. Tampa Bay. 1200 was the reported number because word was it was to rain AGAIN that day and virtually everyone thought the game would be off – it cleared up in the 2nd inning.
    You could hear everything said from the bleachers to the furthest tier seat. To see Yankee Stadium especially like that was bizzarre. I was in the first row on 3B and was saying all kinds of stuff to A-Rod and Jeter, getting a couple head nods and one smirk (when I made fun of them for staring at, and then exchanging glances with each other over, a beautiful woman who stood up in the next section over and took off her sweater to reveal a skimpy top underneath).
    NYTimes reported the next day that the only people there were either unemployed or diehards. (I was sort of both at the time). It was surreal but also lots of fun.

    IronHorse (yf) September 13, 2007, 6:44 pm
  • As long as it has an “if” at the beginning, I’ll be glad to keep dropping that phrase, Andrews. You’ll never see it with a “when.” ;-)

    Paul SF September 13, 2007, 6:57 pm
  • >>>I literally think this is a 50/50 toss up, every game.
    I’d say the series is a toss-up as a whole, but given DiceK’s recent struggles, I’d bet on Pettite to win the first game, Beckett to win the 2nd, and the 3rd is a toss-up (with a slight edge to Schilling, since Clemens has had some health issues of late).

    Hudson September 14, 2007, 12:20 am

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