We’re #1!


A most happy birthday to Joe Torre! We couldn’t have asked for a better present for him: an 11-10 marathon comeback win and, most crucially, sole possession of first place. As SF wrote to us offline, “Right now I hate baseball.” Isn’t he fickle? Well, we really can’t blame him. The truth hurts. Even with their decimated rotation, even after five consecutive road games, even with Bernie’s centerfield defense, the Pinstripers are flying high. (God help the pitcher faced with Sheff & A-Rod.) Meanwhile, in Boston, the Sox inexorable slide continues. Against Tampa.

PS: Congratulations to Ruben Sierra on the big hit. Get well soon.

31 comments… add one
  • These guys are amazing. Bernie made a BIG error trying to avoid Matsui, the middle relief sucked — again — and Brown obviously wasn’t ready to start and may have hurt himself, again. And still they win, against the 3rd best offense in the league (and score enough themselves to pass Boston again for the league lead in runs).
    Tomorrow they have AARON SMALL, no Ruben, no Mo and no Sturtze (not to mention Pavano, Wright and Wang) and will do their best again.
    Didn’t Billy Martin sometimes use starters in relief on the day they threw between games? Should we be using the Big Unit tomorrow?
    Will Joe trust Proctor and Franklin, or will Moose have to pitch until Flash in the ninth?
    Former Sock Casey Fossum pitches in Fenway.

    john yf July 19, 2005, 12:29 am
  • Did I really just see a post asking to use RJ in relief in July – in Texas?
    For how the Sox are playing, they deserve to be right where they are. This past week is the worst I have seen them in three years.
    Did anyone hear if the O’s finalized the deal with Florida yet?

    Anonymous July 19, 2005, 12:46 am
  • Aaron Small does not pitch next – Mike Mussina does. Small pitches on Wednesday.

    Jonah Falcon July 19, 2005, 2:36 am
  • Annonymous post belongs to me.

    Brad-SF July 19, 2005, 3:24 am
  • The Sox’ position and quality of play is unsurprising, but no less frustrating. I guess the best I can say is that they are playing like a bunch of incompetents, and they are only a half game back. God knows how far back they’ll be in a month if this keeps up, though.
    And I am glad YF has just declared our private emails fair game. I have a bunch about his true thoughts on Sheff I’d love to print. Decorum won’t let me, though.

    SF July 19, 2005, 7:49 am
  • I knew it!!
    There’s no way anyone actually likes that guy!

    Brad July 19, 2005, 8:14 am
  • We love our Sheff. Don’t mess with Sheff. We all know what happens when you mess with Sheff. Bad things. Very bad things.
    We love our Sheff.

    YF July 19, 2005, 9:38 am
  • No, I said, “Didn’t Billy Martin sometimes use starters in relief on the day they threw between games?” I think he did, and I think it’s a trick he picked up from Yankee great Casey Stengel, the ol’ philosopher.
    Johnson loves the heat.
    We love Sheff. If the team had 25 Sheffs, we would win 135 games every year.
    If Sheff were a Red Sock, the Green Monster would look like Dresden after the bombing.
    Geez guys, your team won the World Series. These are not your father’s Red Sox. How come you’re still the same old Red Sox fans, taking your depression out on scapegoats llike Bellhorn and the incredibly wonderful New York Yankees?

    john yf July 19, 2005, 10:11 am
  • John, we are having a legit debate about a roster spot. Only a Yankees fan would overblow a discussion about a .210 hitting 2nd baseman into “depression” over “scapegoats”. The 2nd base position is an area of real concern for the Sox (along with a couple of others, which are well-documented).
    From your own standpoint, just look at Cano vs. Womack. Was YF out of line, a depressed agoniste in calling for Womack’s head? Double standard, much?

    SF July 19, 2005, 10:17 am
  • Don’t I remember the Sox winning the WS with a guy named Bellhorn? Does Brad SF really think the difference between this year and last year is Bellhorn? And the team goes half a game out of first and the fans throw in the towel?
    Yes Cano coming in was obviously a great move. I don’t remember Yankee fans blaming all the team’s troubles on Womack, though.
    On top of that, Womack is one of George’s mercenaries, who never proved himself and never developed any fan loyalty. Believe it or not, we don’t like George’s idea that players are interchangeable parts. We’re loyal to our favorite Yankees, the ones who’ve shown what they’re made of, like Captain Jeter. And when a player is clearly on the downside, like Tino, we’re sad to see him go.
    Jeter commented at the time that it was hard to see Tino leave. He also corrects the press the last few years when they say, “The Yankees know how to win the big games, because you’ve been through it all.”
    “Some of us have,” he says.
    Bellhorn was part of some great moments last year. I don’t think y’all should be so fickle and hatin’.

    john yf July 19, 2005, 10:31 am
  • That’s easy enough to say, John, but not particularly insightful. The guy is a hole in the lineup. I don’t see why I should be discussing who the Sox need at DH, or who they need in center, or right, or at the top of the rotation, or behind the plate, or at shortstop. 85 games is a pretty good chunk of games on which to determine whether Bellhorn can be a significant contributor to this team, THIS year, and he’s not doing it. Why is this unfair to him, exactly? Looking to fill a problem spot this year is not forgetfulness about last year’s accomplishments, it’s called dealing with reality. There’s not a Sox fan out there that thinks Bellhorn is THE problem. He’s ONE of them. He’s not a sacred cow, in any context. Where’s the beef with that? The indignance that you offer at our debate over a problem position in our lineup is rather funny. Really, what are we supposed to talk about w/r/t the Sox and possible changes, if we can’t discuss their two worst positions (bullpen and Bellhorn, with the starters now making a case for the top 3)?
    Please, tell me, what are we to discuss? Enlighten me.

    SF July 19, 2005, 10:46 am
  • Since we’re on Sheff again, did anyone see the report in the Times that he had picked up a flaw in Leiter’s motion from watching him on TV and that that is what helped Leiter right himself? I’m glad to have him on our side….

    Fred Vincy July 19, 2005, 11:15 am
  • SF,
    Read some of the other posts. If some Sox fans want to hate their players, well, that’s their problem.
    When some Yankee fans booed Giambi, I thought they were assholes. They were also wrong that he was washed up. 162 game seasons require the long perspective. To quote the ol’ philosopher, You can’t win em all.

    john yf July 19, 2005, 11:25 am
  • john yf: there’s a big difference between hating players and discussing problems which need to be solved. I agree, booing your own players is stupid and pointless — in the last year YF’s have also booed Jeter, A-Rod, and Rivera; SF’s of course have all their targets as well — but I don’t see why discussing how to improve a team is at all a problem. (As you can tell from my earlier posts, I think all the vitriol directed at Bellhorn is a bit much, but I still recognize he’s been a liability so far this season.)

    Earl July 19, 2005, 12:02 pm
  • Actually, Bellhorn is a big problem with this machine, but let’s not get carried away with the championship stuff.
    Unlike the Yankees, the Red Sox fans know that getting to the playoffs with a big bats is all too possible, but once there, it’s the combination of good defense and pitching that gets you through. The fact that the Red Sox were able to run Schill, Petey and Derek Lowe out there, with a closer that could not be touched at the time is the reason they won the WS – it had ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with Bellhorn. He’s not my scapegoat for the recent slump of the Red Sox – my scapegoat is the pitching staff, and lately, it’s deserved. They pitched worse to the Baltimore and the Yanks, frankly two series they needed to pitch very well in, worse than any other two teams.
    Red Sox fans just happen to be getting tired of Mark Bellhorn giving away outs, and it almost always seems to be at the most inopportune times (men on, bases loaded, etc..), and we’re tired of it. When there are four options in the system that are just as good, and three that are better all around, it just makes no sense, and the team is slumping badly enough that it shows more now than normal. When the Sox were putting together 11 runs every night, it was overlooked, but now, it’s noticed, especially by me.
    Also, john-yf: the boos toward Giambi WAS warranted, no matter who the fan base. Just like when Bonds gets back, those will be warranted as well. He robbed the Yanks (well not really, since they knew about his little homerun helper), cheated the game, lied to the fans, and refused to do what was best for the team when asked. People give him pass bc of coming out, but it’s not like that was optional, he testimony was leaked; unlike the others, Giambi had to say something, which he did not really do anyhow, making sure he still got paid by the Yankees – so he deserves every boo he ever got.

    Brad-SF July 19, 2005, 12:48 pm
  • Brad-SF: if you got to choose, what would you like the Sox to do at 2B? Keep in mind Hanley’s still playing at the AA level (where he’s doing well: .273/.333/.418), while Pedroia, while it’s only been 61AB in Pawtucket, hasn’t exactly been stellar (.246/.343/.344, which are awfully Bellhorn-like…in AAA)– plus he’s hurt.
    I personally would really like to see the Youkilis/Mueller tagteam at 2B/3B; as you said, Youk’s been trying out 2B. Plus, Tito’s backed off his statement that Mueller won’t ever play 2B, thankfully. Despite his two hits yesterday, Cora should not be the Sox’s starting 2B, IMO.

    Earl July 19, 2005, 1:01 pm
  • Yeah, I agree. I like the Mueller-Youk combo for now. Well, I like anything better now, but I happen to think that with Youk there, you gain good hits and keep the walks, and not much loss on defense. I agree with the Cora statement, especially with the talent within, but for now, I’m more than happy to have it available. I don’t like putting Mueller at the four spot because of the knee, but I think Youk could be solid there, and IMO he’d be happy to have the everyday spot.

    Brad-SF July 19, 2005, 1:08 pm
  • As I stated earlier, the Mueller-to-2nd thinking is prevalent, but not based on any solid experience for Mueller at the position (53 career games there). For some reason many people think Mueller’s played a good deal there, but he hasn’t. Plus he’s got a bad knee. So the Sox are very much in a bind here, now that Bellhorn is on the DL. Theo Epstein on the pregame show yesterday said they are not bringing Pedroia up, since he’s been hurt and they won’t put him in the majors with a healing injury. Fair enough.
    Based on how Theo talked about Hanley Ramirez, though, it would seem he’s a more likely option, despite the fact that he’s still in AA. There’s really not a good and obvious solution here, and one can understand why the Sox didn’t reflexively bench Bellhorn. The Sox must also have figured that Bret “Toxic” Boone wasn’t worth the headaches or wasn’t ever getting back to where he was earlier in his career. All the same, I think if Mueller is willing to move, then do it, at least short term. In two weeks, if Ramirez is handling 2nd base well in AA, then bring him up. Let’s see what he can do.

    SF July 19, 2005, 1:55 pm
  • Make that “Casey Stengel, the Old Perfessor.” It’s been a while since I thought about Casey.

    john yf July 19, 2005, 3:04 pm
  • Sox fans, great idea, copy the Yankees, bring up lots of AA players. Yeah, that’s the way to win.

    john yf July 19, 2005, 3:05 pm
  • John:
    One player doesn’t qualify as “lots”. But have it your way.

    SF July 19, 2005, 3:53 pm
  • All right, so bringing up “lots of” Hanley Ramirez, and/or playing Youk and Mueller, should (hopefully) help at 2B. But in my opinion there are still 2 starters whose lack of hitting is really hurting the Sox (with neither looking particularly great at defense). And I don’t think either of them are any less worrisome than Bellhorn is/was. But maybe at this point pitching (SP and RP) is the greater concern?

    Earl July 19, 2005, 4:23 pm
  • Well then — big moves rendering most of this moot. Graffanino is now a Sox. Embree gone. Rumors of JC Romero-for-Mueller, and possibly a Florida deal as well.

    Earl July 19, 2005, 6:03 pm
  • actually, many now consider AA players “ready” for the major leagues,while, AAA is used essentially for injury replacements and career minorleaguers. so, any of the red sox top AA prospects may be more than “ready” for the transition…

    TonyC.25 July 19, 2005, 6:33 pm
  • I think it’s all for nill as I just heard they acquired a second baseman from somewhere. damn it, I wanted Youk.

    Anonymous July 19, 2005, 8:52 pm
  • Yep, Tony Graffanino from KC–.377 OBP. He’s played first, second, third, and short this year, committing a combined seven errors.
    Sox gave up Ambres to get him.

    JTP July 19, 2005, 9:22 pm
  • Yeah i was just checking on him. Who is going to get optioned down to activate him? I know they got Hyzdu back, and my best guess is that he goes back to PawSox, as sending Stern is essentially giving him back to Atlanta.

    Brad-SF July 19, 2005, 9:36 pm
  • Well, if the rumored Mueller-for-Romero deal actually does happen, I’d hope to see Halama gone.

    JTP July 19, 2005, 10:04 pm
  • Thanks for the info JTP.

    Brad-SF July 19, 2005, 11:23 pm
  • SF
    You’re not disagreeing with me, you’re disagreeing with you’re fellow citizens of the Nation.

    john yf July 20, 2005, 8:44 am

    brooklyn August 2, 2005, 10:37 am

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