Toast: Sox-Rays Gamer XII

Jason Varitek’s on-base percentage is .302.


That sunk in yet?

Exactly two catchers in the 107-year history of the Red Sox to this point finished a full season with an OBP that low: Lou Criger (.256 in 1903, .283 in 1904) and Tony Pena (.291 in 1991). This is the man Terry Francona sent up to pinch hit in a key situation last night. The man whose OPS+ is so low, the only other years where a full-time Sox catcher posted one lower were 1903, 1922, 1924 and 1991.

Have fun thinking about that, as the Red Sox look to avoid the three-game sweep tonight to the Tampa Bay Rays.

118 comments… add one
  • Homer for Pedroia!

    rootbeerfloat July 2, 2008, 7:13 pm
  • As concerned as I am about Tek’s performance this season, I’m even more concerned about the future. With his contract up, will he be re-signed? If so, how long will we be stuck with his bat? And if not, who do the Sox get instead? A vexing situation.

    stuck working July 2, 2008, 7:18 pm
  • This is shaping up badly

    rootbeerfloat July 2, 2008, 7:32 pm
  • Well, let’s hope that that was Dice-K’s problem inning…

    stuck working July 2, 2008, 7:34 pm
  • Geez, the RS and NYY gamers tonight are pretty down on our respective teams!

    IronHorse (yf) July 2, 2008, 7:34 pm
  • Well, IH, what’s worse: losing to a mediocre team like the Rangers or losing to the leader of the division? Hard for me to say, but they both hurt in their own way.

    stuck working July 2, 2008, 7:38 pm
  • In keeping with the topic of the post, TeK Ks.

    stuck working July 2, 2008, 7:42 pm
  • Runners at the corners with 2 outs after an error.
    More wasted opportunities on the way.

    I'mBillMcNeal July 2, 2008, 7:45 pm
  • Loogie can’t get it done. On the other hand, Kazmir’s pitch count is at 45 after 2 IP.

    I'mBillMcNeal July 2, 2008, 7:49 pm
  • Hey, Horse! Any reason any of us SHOULDN’T be down on our teams?

    I'mBillMcNeal July 2, 2008, 7:50 pm
  • IBM: you call Lugo stranding two runners a wasted opportunity, but I call it clearing the pitcher’s spot.
    Wait, interleague’s over?

    stuck working July 2, 2008, 7:50 pm
  • Christ. Now ESPN is giving us crowd shots of loudmouth Dick Vitale.

    I'mBillMcNeal July 2, 2008, 7:53 pm
  • Stuck, we all have our own perspectives.

    Our senses of entitlement are taking a beating.

    I'mBillMcNeal July 2, 2008, 7:54 pm
  • I still believe the Rays will not be in the top two come Sept. 15. I used to have reasons for that; now, it’s just because they’re the Rays. I mean, come on!

    Paul SF July 2, 2008, 8:02 pm

    I'mBillMcNeal July 2, 2008, 8:04 pm
  • Matsuzaka the opposite of in control right now.

    Paul SF July 2, 2008, 8:05 pm
  • Paul: my new working theory is that the Rays and Sox might actually meet in the postseason. In which case I would be very worried about the Sox.

    stuck working July 2, 2008, 8:07 pm
  • Jacoby swings at a fastball up and in, first pitch, pops out. A waste of an at-bat.

    I'mBillMcNeal July 2, 2008, 8:08 pm
  • Just got in… Pedroia has a homer and a triple? NICE!

    Atheose July 2, 2008, 8:09 pm
  • Pedro=Red Sox offense.

    I'mBillMcNeal July 2, 2008, 8:09 pm
  • Heads up boys. Kazmir throwing almost exclusively fastballs.

    I'mBillMcNeal July 2, 2008, 8:10 pm
  • Drew walks, setting up Manny to blow another scoring opportunity.

    I'mBillMcNeal July 2, 2008, 8:11 pm
  • Let’s go, old man shover!

    SF July 2, 2008, 8:11 pm
  • You know what? I LOVE that Manny kicked that stupid fucking traveling secretary’s ass. Seriously, if there was one guy on the Sox who had it coming it was that twit with the clipboard and the AARP card. About fucking time is what I say.

    SF July 2, 2008, 8:12 pm
  • (let’s see how many YFs take that last comment seriously and cite it tomorrow)

    SF July 2, 2008, 8:13 pm
  • Manny grounds out to 3rd, but it’s hit hard enough to score a run and advance Drew to 2nd. Sweet.

    Atheose July 2, 2008, 8:13 pm
  • Manny hits it hard, barely avoiding continued suckage.

    I'mBillMcNeal July 2, 2008, 8:13 pm
  • in play (runs)
    A ground out, but a run nonetheless!

    SF July 2, 2008, 8:13 pm
  • Watch it, SF. I use a clipboard.

    I'mBillMcNeal July 2, 2008, 8:14 pm
  • Kazmir’s pitch count at 60 after 3.

    I'mBillMcNeal July 2, 2008, 8:15 pm
  • my new working theory is that the Rays and Sox might actually meet in the postseason. In which case I would be very worried about the Sox.
    I hope we crush their dreams in the playoffs, Indians/Rockies style.

    Atheose July 2, 2008, 8:16 pm
  • On what date will Jason Varitek sink below .200?
    Right now he is 50 for 228, for a .219 average. If he goes 0 for his next 23 he will make it. That’s probably six games, so the earliest is in about a week.

    SF July 2, 2008, 8:16 pm
  • It’s like the opposite of the Chipper Jones watch. Can he reach–and stay at–.400 before ‘Tek hits .200?

    Atheose July 2, 2008, 8:18 pm
  • SF, here’s my idea: We need an SF-YF love-in, where we do nothing but compliment each other and massage each other’s senses of entitlement.
    Everyone brings a 12-pack and we all sign in at the same time and don’t leave until the beer is gone. Nothing but love. No negative posts about RS or NYY.

    I'mBillMcNeal July 2, 2008, 8:19 pm

    Atheose July 2, 2008, 8:19 pm
  • See what happens when you don’t shake off Tek? You strike him out. One down.
    There have been a LOT of Sox games on ESPN this season. Not complaining of course… these guys beat listening to the TB announcers on

    Atheose July 2, 2008, 8:21 pm
  • We could do it this weekend during the four-game set at the Stadium.

    I'mBillMcNeal July 2, 2008, 8:21 pm
  • Serious question on Varitek: Do the Sox re-sign him? With how empty the major leagues are of catching talent, don’t they have to? What’s the other choice? Cash or Kottaras full-time? I-Rod and his .326 OBP?

    A YF July 2, 2008, 8:22 pm
  • Whew Lugo gets him out. I half expected the ump to call him safe at first.

    Atheose July 2, 2008, 8:22 pm
  • Only Dice-K could have a 17-pitch 1-2-3 inning.

    I'mBillMcNeal July 2, 2008, 8:27 pm
  • I’d split time between Cash and Kottaras. Right now AYF I’m leaning towards no, don’t resign him. It hurts for me to make that decision though. Glad I don’t have to.
    It’s insane that Tek is anywhere near the running for All Star. Mauer deserves it hands down.

    Atheose July 2, 2008, 8:31 pm
  • Tek and Moss on, let’s get some runs guys.

    Atheose July 2, 2008, 8:32 pm
  • Wow, Bartlett did a good job faking that hit and falling on his face. Cora definitely slid nowhere near the bag, but Bartlett’s acting helped convince the ump.

    Atheose July 2, 2008, 8:41 pm
  • 14 pitches, 3 K’s for Daisuke!

    Atheose July 2, 2008, 8:47 pm
  • PEDROIA DOUBLES! He’s batting the cycle in reverse!

    Atheose July 2, 2008, 8:51 pm

    Atheose July 2, 2008, 8:53 pm
  • 4 extra base hits by the Red Sox so far. Three are by Pedroia.

    Atheose July 2, 2008, 8:54 pm
  • INT walk to Yooks to get to Tek.
    Well, Tek, you know what to do.

    I'mBillMcNeal July 2, 2008, 8:58 pm
  • Youk getting a IBB, the 2nd one of his career. The first one also came this year, on April 20 with JD Drew batting behind him.

    Atheose July 2, 2008, 8:59 pm
  • Wild pitch scores a run! 4-1 Sox.

    Atheose July 2, 2008, 9:00 pm
  • 107 pitches for Kazmir after 5. Okay Daisuke, hold the lead now please.

    Atheose July 2, 2008, 9:02 pm
  • IBM:
    The love-in sounds good, at least the beer part. Not so sure about the YF part.

    SF July 2, 2008, 9:05 pm
  • And Okajima is brought in for 6th-inning duty. Sad face.

    Atheose July 2, 2008, 9:26 pm
  • Oki. Jesus.

    I'mBillMcNeal July 2, 2008, 9:26 pm
  • Uh oh. Oki in.

    rootbeerfloat July 2, 2008, 9:27 pm
  • Tito’s giving Oki a chance to work his way out of it. please, don’t let us down.

    I'mBillMcNeal July 2, 2008, 9:28 pm
  • I’m away from teh TV. Radio guys make it sound like Longoria hit a good pitch. Anyone?

    I'mBillMcNeal July 2, 2008, 9:31 pm
  • Holy fuck these umpires are idiots. The ball is foul like CRAZY, but comes back and lands in fair territory. The 3rd base coach immediately calls it a fair ball, and Lowell runs screaming over to him.
    The home plate umpire is the voice of reason though, and quickly calls it a foul ball because it struck the catwalk in foul territory.

    Atheose July 2, 2008, 9:35 pm
  • Oki! I think we’ve found his inning!
    Now we just need to find guys for the seventh and eight.

    SF July 2, 2008, 9:38 pm
  • Speaking of idiots … Tony Romo took his girlfriend, the deer-in-the-headlights faced Jessica Simpson, out to dinner with his parents. They went to the Olive Garden in Janesville, Wisconsin.

    I'mBillMcNeal July 2, 2008, 9:39 pm
  • Youk gets IBB’d AGAIN. Third time in his career, twice tonight.

    Atheose July 2, 2008, 9:48 pm
  • Speaking of idiots … Tony Romo took his girlfriend, the deer-in-the-headlights faced Jessica Simpson super hot blond for whom I’d throw my grandma down a flight of stairs to sleep with, out to dinner with his parents. They went to the Olive Garden in Janesville, Wisconsin.
    There, fixed it for you.

    Atheose July 2, 2008, 9:51 pm
  • And Tek promptly Ks. No-brainer IBB there. Only five games until Tek is hitting .199.
    Man, he looks done. As done as ever, and he’s looked done in the past, but this is even worse.

    SF July 2, 2008, 9:51 pm
  • Ath, …. oh, boy.
    Dude, if there’s a dumber-looking celebrity out there not named Brad Pitt …
    Oh, boy.

    I'mBillMcNeal July 2, 2008, 9:52 pm
  • Yay, bullpen!
    MDC gives up the leadoff double after we squander an easy run.

    SF July 2, 2008, 9:56 pm
  • Dude, if there’s a dumber-looking celebrity out there not named Brad Pitt …
    Oh, boy

    I don’t care about her inability to do calculus, Bill ;-) She’s super hot, she looks super hot, and I’d swim through a mile of her piss just to see where it came from.

    Atheose July 2, 2008, 9:59 pm
  • Um, ok. Moving on…
    These Sox are f*cking painful. MDC imploding immediately.

    SF July 2, 2008, 10:01 pm
  • If we’re losing in a close game, our bullpen puts it out of reach. If we’re winning, they do everything they can to blow the lead. This is frustrating.

    Atheose July 2, 2008, 10:03 pm
  • Fuck it, bring in Papelbon. High leverage. Let someone else try to close it out. Otherwise, we’re losing again the way the setup guys are going and Paps won’t even need to pitch.

    SF July 2, 2008, 10:06 pm
  • Theo:
    Get to work.

    SF July 2, 2008, 10:07 pm
  • Shit, the Rays just broke out “Sandstorm”, by far the greatest techno song of all time. And the bases are loaded with zero outs.

    Atheose July 2, 2008, 10:07 pm
  • 3 straight balls. Fuck.

    Atheose July 2, 2008, 10:09 pm
  • Hansen walks a run in. 4-3.

    Atheose July 2, 2008, 10:10 pm
  • This team looks pitiful, just pitiful.

    SF July 2, 2008, 10:11 pm
  • More unwatchable baseball from the Sox, a nightly occurrence all of a sudden.
    Hence, I will not watch. They don’t deserve my time right now.

    SF July 2, 2008, 10:12 pm
  • I need to go do something else.

    Atheose July 2, 2008, 10:12 pm
  • F*ck our bullpen. F*ck it to hell and back.

    Devine July 2, 2008, 10:14 pm
  • Third place here we come! Maybe fourth!
    Horrid baseball, absolutely horrid. And no end in sight, either. The bullpen is a trainwreck, our GM too busy trying to usher in detente between a ticket-getter and a slugger to do his fucking job.

    SF July 2, 2008, 10:15 pm
  • Went to buy a prescription. Shit shit shit shit shit.

    I'mBillMcNeal July 2, 2008, 10:21 pm
  • But here’s the real killer stat for Boston: 8 LOBs.

    I'mBillMcNeal July 2, 2008, 10:22 pm
  • Sorry. Nine LOBs.
    I’m as reliable as the bullpen.

    I'mBillMcNeal July 2, 2008, 10:23 pm
  • To be honest, the Sox need to see if Papi is coming back before making a move, though at that point it might be too late. If Papi isn’t healthy (and Tek is really as horrible as he looks) then the offense might be terribly crippled, what with Manny facing nagging injuries and LFRS his useless self. The offense won’t be able to rescue the bullpen or render it less important without Papi. So, until then, we probably have to live with this situation. I wouldn’t advocate moving Buchholz, Lowrie, Bowden, or Masterson if Papi is gone for the year, I’d almost rather let these guys get experience and move towards next season, see if they can compete with the youngsters. But if Papi is gone, then Lowrie better get called up immediately or Theo can go you-know-what himself.

    SF July 2, 2008, 10:30 pm
  • Drew gets on and … well, Manny’s last at-bat was a good one.

    I'mBillMcNeal July 2, 2008, 10:41 pm
  • What I don’t understand is why Theo doesn’t give a shot to the kids worthy of spelling the sagging hitters? You can’t sit Varitek for Kottaras, but why not Lowrie for Lugo and one of Carter/Van Every/Bailey for Ellsbury?

    A YF July 2, 2008, 10:43 pm
  • SF, you’re hitting the panic button too soon.
    Yeah, we look like crap right now. But for Christ sake, its not eventhe All-star break yet. The Sox have been without Papi for a month and they’re only 2.5 games out.
    The problem is that everyone is scuffling except the starting pitchers and Pedroia.
    There is plenty of time for this ship to right itself.
    Tampa hasn’t really had a losing skid yet and they haven’t had any players on the DL for any notable period. Carlos Pena is not Papi, Percival ain’t Paps and most of that bullpen is pitching well better than their career stats.
    I’m not saying Tampa should be ignored and it’ll go away, but how do they do in the dog days? And NYY is having the same problems we are … inconsistency galore.

    I'mBillMcNeal July 2, 2008, 10:46 pm
  • Bailey and VanEvery aren’t prospects. They’re effectively journeymen/career minor leaguers.
    Ellsbury needs to play to break out of it, Kottaras isn’t on the 40-man and Lowrie, well, yeah, I’d like to see Lowrie back up.
    I really believe that this is just a confluence of bad, not a snapshot of the bigger picture. NYY hasn’t made any major moves except for those out of necessity based on injury.
    I’m not convinced that a good ol’ Leyland-esque/Guillen-esque Tito tempter tamtrum isn’t what might shake things up.

    I'mBillMcNeal July 2, 2008, 10:52 pm
  • tantrum. Temper tantrum.

    I'mBillMcNeal July 2, 2008, 10:52 pm
  • OK, tying run is on. no outs.

    I'mBillMcNeal July 2, 2008, 10:57 pm
  • But you know, it’s US so it won’t matter.

    rootbeerfloat July 2, 2008, 10:59 pm
  • Wheeler’s career ERA is 3.90.

    I'mBillMcNeal July 2, 2008, 11:00 pm
  • “And NYY is having the same problems we are … inconsistency galore.”
    Yanks have those injuries. What are the Sox excuses?

    A YF July 2, 2008, 11:01 pm
  • Wheeler will remember that he sucks.

    I'mBillMcNeal July 2, 2008, 11:01 pm
  • AYF, if you can’t pay attention, go away.

    I'mBillMcNeal July 2, 2008, 11:02 pm
  • A – Seriously? You came to this thread to troll. Go away.

    rootbeerfloat July 2, 2008, 11:03 pm
  • Ughhhh 1 Out and you hit and run on 1-1 with Lowell. Not a smart move Tito.

    John - YF July 2, 2008, 11:03 pm
  • Tek is killing the Sox right now…time to bring in a hitting catcher – Mariners have a couple to deal.

    dknyc July 2, 2008, 11:04 pm
  • Yes, John, but that pitch was up the gut.

    I'mBillMcNeal July 2, 2008, 11:05 pm
  • Why is Lowell running? And Varitek continues to impress!

    A YF July 2, 2008, 11:05 pm
  • Interesting how all you YFs want us to bail on Tek. Well, you and SF.
    Maybe there are catchers available who can hit but can they work behind the plate. That’s tek’s value.

    I'mBillMcNeal July 2, 2008, 11:06 pm
  • It’s obvious that I’m not trolling…
    But why oh why would you H&R after you have been hitting Wheeler pretty well all inning AND you have Mike Lowell on 1st. There has to be a bench player FASTER than Lowell if you are dead set on H&R. Sorry but that doesn’t make a ton of sense.

    John - YF July 2, 2008, 11:06 pm
  • I dont want you to bail on Tek…but you have to admit that he’s having some brutal at bats in big spots. If he was hitting better, Lowell wouldnt have been running to stay out of the double play.

    dknyc July 2, 2008, 11:08 pm
  • I know you’re not, John.
    True, had been hitting Wheeler.
    Perhaps Tito is trying ANYTHING.

    I'mBillMcNeal July 2, 2008, 11:09 pm
  • “And Varitek continues to impress!”
    No need for that A. You want to talk baseball talk baseball, don’t start wars with your comments.

    John - YF July 2, 2008, 11:09 pm
  • “can they work behind the plate”
    Ah, yes, the old standby for catchers who do nothing else. Jose Molina also works behind the plate. Kevin Cash too. As does Carlton Fisk. Still. Tony Pena too.

    A YF July 2, 2008, 11:09 pm
  • John, forget about him. He’s gone. His mommy just caught him up after his bed time and gave him a spanking.

    I'mBillMcNeal July 2, 2008, 11:09 pm
  • I think they should DFA Varitek. Maybe they’ll give Manny the C.

    A YF July 2, 2008, 11:10 pm
  • “Perhaps Tito is trying ANYTHING”
    IBM that’s the surprising part. That’s not the Sox, it smacks of lack of confidence and that’s not the Sox M.O. circa 2004 through now. Especially with the balls hit in that inning, Wheeler was struggling. Who was on the bench? Was there anyone faster than Lowell?

    John - YF July 2, 2008, 11:11 pm
  • Everyone was on the bench. Cora. Casey. Cash. Crisp not available.
    Crappy way to lose a game. Easily as crappy as it was fun for you to win the way you did.

    I'mBillMcNeal July 2, 2008, 11:13 pm
  • Lowell isn’t fast but he is a smart baserunner. … Trying to keep Tek from hitting into the DP. … There was an earthquake. He had a flat tire. It WASN’T HIS FAULT!!!

    I'mBillMcNeal July 2, 2008, 11:14 pm
  • But, hey, the Bruins signed Michael Ryder.

    I'mBillMcNeal July 2, 2008, 11:15 pm
  • Didn’t get to see any of our game unfortunately. I had a game, then I had a softball game. So I missed all the offense.
    When is the last time the Yankees and Sox played a series in July and neither team was in 1st place?

    John - YF July 2, 2008, 11:15 pm
  • I dunno. I’m writhing over the loss of my sense of entitlement.

    I'mBillMcNeal July 2, 2008, 11:19 pm
  • Adios.

    I'mBillMcNeal July 2, 2008, 11:20 pm
  • Francona’s H & R call with unbelievably-slumping Varitek in the 9th tonight and Girardi’s decision to have 0-for-19-at-that-point Melky swing away with the tying run on 1st in the 9th last night are two of the worst late-game managerial decisions I’ve seen this year. Really really inexplicable. I think Girardi’s is even worse – there is always the theory that H&R gets a slumping hitter focused and away from swinging from the heels I guess – but there is no defensible argument for Melky to swing away last night. Regardless, both terrible terrible calls.

    IronHorse (yf) July 3, 2008, 12:36 am
  • Tito and Torre have preached a couple of common themes throughout their tenures as managers: It’s best to temper the highs and the lows, and while things might never be as bad as they seem, they’re never quite as good as they seem, either.
    It would be east for Theo and Tito to overreact right now, but what happened the last time Theo overreacted? We got Doug Mirabelli and gave up Cla Meredith and Josh Bard. What wouldn’t we give to have those guys back now?
    We have taken our shots at Lugo, and he’s deserved a lot of them, but here again is a stat I pointed out last week: Lugo’s OPS is .726 and Jeter’s OPS is .728. Sure Jeter is nursing that hand injury and Lugo is being Lugo, but I don’t hear any YF’s clammoring for Joe G to bench Jeter. (NOTE TO YFs: I’m not mocking Jeter.)
    The pen is struggling right now because Oki, the ONLY reliever to go unmarred on Wednesday, hasn’t been the player he was last year. And just when you think MDC has it figued out he stinks up the place. And Hansen, too.
    Think about it: Roster-wise, where are things now versus where we thought they would be on Feb. 28: Schilling is done, Beckett has been on the DL, Dice-k has been on the DL, Lowell has been on the DL, most of the team went throught a bout with the flu, Manny’s hammy’s are barking, Papi’s on the DL, Timlin’s on the DL, Yook had the eye thing, Ellsbury hasn’t been the same since he hurt his wrist, Drew has been hurt, Casey’s been hurt, Colon is on the DL.
    Thus far they’ve done a good job of playing through it, but wow its starting to pile up.
    We’re really noticing Papi’s absense.
    It’s just too soon to panic.

    I'mBillMcNeal July 3, 2008, 12:56 am
  • Graf 2: “It would be easy …”

    I'mBillMcNeal July 3, 2008, 12:57 am
  • The Sox excuses are that they have all these injuries. And like, Varitek sucks! ;P
    What the hell, the Rays? Really? I still have trouble understanding this one.
    And it’s their first year being the Rays too.. haha..

    Lar July 3, 2008, 9:27 am
  • Not sure I’m following you, Lar.

    I'mBillMcNeal July 3, 2008, 7:55 pm

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