Subscribe: Surviving Grady
http://www.survivinggrady.com/atom.xml
Added By: Feedage Forager Feedage Grade B rated
Language: English
Tags:
back  big  don  game  games  good  might  night  ortiz  papi  poetry  red sox  red  run  season  sox  team  win 
Rate this Feed
Rate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feed
Rate this feed 1 starRate this feed 2 starRate this feed 3 starRate this feed 4 starRate this feed 5 star

Comments (0)

Feed Details and Statistics Feed Statistics
Preview: Surviving Grady

Surviving Grady



Red Sox Commiseration Spoken Here



Updated: 2010-04-27T21:05:09.409-04:00

 



This blog has moved

2010-04-27T21:05:09.422-04:00


This blog is now located at http://survivinggrady3.blogspot.com/.
You will be automatically redirected in 30 seconds, or you may click here.

For feed subscribers, please update your feed subscriptions to
http://survivinggrady3.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default.



Further Adventures in the Great White North

2010-04-27T19:09:47.440-04:00

(image)
Tonight, Clay Buchholz takes the hill against fellow dude Shaun Marcum. Seeing as how Sox pitching has given up a staggering 24 runs over the the past three games, it'd be nice to see young Clay hold the Jays to, I dunno, less than five runs. That being said, the bats, which I feared might never show up in 2010, are goin' bananas. We just need to find that elusive balance between scoring lots of runs ourselves and preventing the other team from scoring a shitload as well. I know we can do it. And, I hope it begins tonight.

In other news, as we mentioned a while back, Blogger, the platform on which we've built this silly blog, is shutting down its FTP capability this weekend, meaning we've got to find a new home for SG. We've been working on a new site on Word Press, and we think you'll all dig it. We'll be starting up the migration over the next 48 hours, and while we hope everything goes smoothly, we ain't HTML gurus, plus we drink a lot. So the stage is set for roadblocks. Things might get a bit freaky over the next few days, but don't panic. We expect all to be well and good by Thursday. Gammons willing.



The Red Sox and Blue Jays Scored Twenty-Five Runs and All I Got Was This Lousy Hangover

2010-04-27T11:35:28.621-04:00

(image)
It occurred to me last night, after watching what seemed to be the seventy-fifth run of the game cross the plate, that this has the potential to be one long-ass, ulcer-inducing season.

Think about it: We're less than one month in and we've got Bill Hall and Darnell McDonald starting in the outfield. Josh Beckett has apparently been bitten by a radioactive Brian Rose. I don't even recognize that guy who calls himself "Jon Lester." Jason Varitek with a bat in his hand is no longer the stuff of my nightmares. And Manny Delcarmen has become -- God help us -- one of the more reliable arms in the bullpen.

The f#$k?

What will things look like come July? Will Varitek have 32 home runs? Will Mike Cameron be planning his 2011 comeback? Will Timmy Wakefield have finally snapped and taken hostages at a local Arbys? Will John Henry's wife be kicked in the head by a horse and come to the realization that no amount of monetary comfort is worth another glimpse of her husband's horrible, horrible testicles? Will we be 27 games out or neck-in-neck for the division lead?

Really, right now, any of these things seems possible. Especially the Mrs. Henry thing.

Coming into this season, we didn't know what to expect. And almost one month in, I still have no real idea who this team is and what it's capable of. But so long as we get the W, I guess, even games like last night's fudgefest are oddly bearable.



A Win Against the Blue Jays is a Win for America

2010-04-26T19:10:59.659-04:00

(image)
Do you think Lyle Overbay wants to take a roundhouse kick to the face while Pedroia's wearing these bad boys? Forget about it.

Anyway, yeah. This isn't just an AL East thing, it's an American thing. USA pride, people. We can't let these sneaky Canucks kick us any further down the ladder. The time to stand up and take what is ours is now!

Commander Kick Ass of the F#$k Yeah Brigade is on the hill. Lowell is in the line-up. The world's greatest beer vendor is working the crowds. And you're in my heart, woman who plays Penny on Big Bang Theory.

Let us roll.



Six is an Odd Number

2010-04-26T15:49:00.238-04:00

(image) With the return of Dice-K looming in the very near future, the decision has been made to send Tim Wakefield to the bullpen. The sixth starter becomes the odd man out. Wakefield has been a good soldier throughout his lengthy Red Sox career, doing whatever the Sox needed: starter, middle reliever, closer...all of the above. He has been left off the play-off roster despite being part of the reason the Sox made the play-offs. And he has done it all without complaint. Until now.

While Timmy didn't come out and bash the Sox, it was pretty easy to read between the lines to sense his frustration. From Boston.com:
While there doesn’t seem to be any defined role for Wakefield out of the pen, it’s obvious the 43-year-old isn’t keen on his new assignment. His dreams after signing a two-year deal last offseason were to win another championship, become Boston’s winningest pitcher, and earn his 200th win. If he spends any length of time in the pen those personal goals are likely in peril.

Asked if he had any thoughts about going to the pen, he said, “I don’t have any.’’

Asked whether he was concerned about his limited relief outings in recent years, he said, “No.’’

Asked whether yesterday’s outing was difficult considering the circumstances, he said, “No, it was a start, just another start.’’

Wakefield was asked, however, if he was told in spring training he would be a starter and now he’s not. Wakefield would only respond with, “Today was a very good day. I threw a lot of strikes and unfortunately we came out on the short end of the stick.’’

The only bright spot in this story is that it might signal the end of the Scott Atchison era.

On to Thunderdome to show those Canucks what's up.



"Dong, Where Is My Run Prevention!?"

2010-04-26T00:09:00.256-04:00

(image)
This weekend, the Baltimore Orioles -- the AL East's version of the "before" guy in the old Charles Atlas ads -- rolled into town. To a team starving for some wins, this is good news. So on Friday, I grabbed an extra case of Bud Light and canceled my weekend plans -- very easy to do when you don't actually have any -- eager to soak in what would surely be three old-fashioned, one-sided beat downs. The kind of wins it seemed this team needed to right itself or boost the confidence or just have something to drink themselves silly over.

When the dust cleared, however, this weekend played more like the death knell for the whole concept of "run prevention." The worst team in baseball -- a team that showed up at our doorstep Friday night having won only two games -- scored 16 runs against us over 3 games. That's just one more run than the Os had scored over their last six games. And the two games that we did manage to win were taken by skinny one-run margins. Against the Yankees or Rays, this is to be expected. Against a team that's won just a couple more games than the Delfonics -- and, as a '70s soul act, the Delfonics' have approximately "zero" wins this season -- it is unacceptable.

I know it's still early in the season. Lots of ball to be played. A 10-game win streak in May will erase all these nasty memories. But watching these guys claw and scrap their way to a 2-out-of-3 showing against, if I may remind you again, the worst team in baseball left me disenchanted. Because that 10 game streak won't mean much if afterward we're still 6 games behind the Rays and Yankees.

Anyway. Speaking of the Delfonics...

(object) (embed)



No Sweep For You!

2010-04-25T20:11:39.295-04:00

(image) A tenth-inning bullpen meltdown prevented the Sox from sweeping the Orioles out of Fenway. With the game tied 4-4 (and Tito napping in the dugout), the two Scotts gave up three runs before Manny Delcarmen finally stopped the bleeding by getting the last two outs. The Sox rallied for two in the bottom of the inning but Cla I-don't-need-no-stinkin'-Y Meredith got McDonald and Scutaro to end this one.

How much do the Red Sox miss Jacoby Ellsbury right now?



Kevin Kennedy: Part Time Broadcaster, Part Time Hero

2010-04-24T19:11:36.450-04:00

(image)
Sometimes ordinary people are put in situations that result in extraordinary actions. That is the case for former Sox skipper and current part-time Rays broadcaster.


"The lights were out, most of us were asleep, when we started hearing these loud voices, some guy talking about Satan and death," said Kennedy. "And I could hear the flight attendant, a lady, and her voice, she sounded kind of nervous and that woke me up. I was wide awake immediately, and saw this guy crossing himself and saying Satan is following us and all this kind of stuff."

When Sheffield began threatening about bombs and blowing up the plane, Kennedy said, "We knew it was real."

"Guys were trying to talk him down and it wasn't happening," Kennedy said. "It was getting worse. He said, 'I'm going to take the plane down and you're going to hell with me. I'm going to blow this plane up.'"

Kennedy, who was sitting in the second row in first class, did not know if Sheffield had dynamite on him, he just knew he was moving aggressively toward the door of the cockpit.

"I elected to get unbuckled to take him out, as did the other guys," Kennedy said. "That's the choice we made without talking."

Kennedy stood from his seat and Sheffield threw water on him. Another passenger flashed his wallet at Sheffield as if he were an air marshal, and then a bullrush ensued.

Once Kennedy and seven other passengers restrained Sheffield, they had trouble binding him up. He broke free from a belt that had been wrapped around his wrists, in addition to plastic ties that were used to try and restrain him. Finally, they managed to get him under control using seat belts that flight attendants use for their in-flight demonstrations.

"I had his left arm, trying to pull it out," Kennedy said. "He was strong. I mean, I think I'm sort of strong, but he was strong. I finally got his arm back. Then we held that."

That is some serious bad-ass behavior by Kennedy, who I always thought looked more like a Statie than a baseball manager. Props to Kennedy and the rest of the passengers for their bravery. No word yet on if it was Gary Sheffield. We now return you to baseball: Sox vs. Orioles and that has to mean a W.



One Down

2010-04-24T14:07:06.260-04:00

(image) What better way to get healthy than play a series against the Orioles? And there is no better proof of that than David Ortiz smacking his first long ball of the season. It was an opposite field shot that just might be what the big guy needs to kick-start his season.

I've been keeping fingers crossed and doing the little known Dave Henderson homerun ritual before every Papi at-bat, and it finally worked. I still think Ortiz has something left in the tank, and that it was all mental this season. Now that the first one is out of the way, watch out...



And With Open Arms, We Welcome the Baltimore Orioles

2010-04-27T19:52:24.538-04:00

Nothing raises the spirits more than watching your team beat up on the division's appointed chew toy. So, welcome, Baltimore Orioles. We are happy to have you.

Of course, if the Os kick our asses this series, I'll be found at the bottom of a vodka-filled swimming pool.

The fun starts at 7:05, whether you have baseball tickets or NESN. Let love rule.



Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad

2010-04-23T01:08:05.160-04:00

(image) Or is it? While winning any series certainly beats the alternative, it really shouldn't have been this tough. If not for some unlikely heroics by Darnell McDonald (who hails from a neighboring Irish village to Troy O'Leary's home town), the Rangers could have swept the Sox. That is a little frightening, because I have another news flash: Texas ain't that good.

But there were a lot of positives to come out of this, which the Sox should be able to build on and sweep the hapless O's back to the land of crabcakes this weekend. For starters (bad pun intended) Clay Buchholz looked pretty damn good until he ran out of gas in the seventh. He had 2-hit the Rangers through six. And suddenly the bullpen is looking like we thought they would. If memory serves me (and I'm far too lazy to look it up) the 'pen did not give up an earned run in the series. Until tonight, the bats were showing signs of life. Mike Lowell fueled the DH controversy with a homer last night. Drew's grand slam was immense and Youk's game-winner might get him going.

The biggest problems continue to be inconsistent starting pitching, poor defense and a complete inability to throw out runners.

Regardless, I'm calling for the sweep against Baltimore.

And I leave you with Reason #3,912 why A-Rod is Queen of the Douchebags...
(object) (embed)
In the post-game interviews, Braden is still heated. A-Rod, on the other hand, tried to play it off like it was no big deal:

"He just told me to get off his mound," Rodriguez said. "That was a little surprising. I'd never quite heard that, especially from a guy that has a handful of wins in his career.

"I didn't even know he was talking to me. I've never heard of that in my career. I still don't know. I thought it was pretty funny, actually."

When asked if he got an apology, Braden had this to say:
"The guy was tasting himself too long to apologize,"

Add it to the list of lowlights for A-Rod. He will never get it. The two teams don't face each other again until July, but pitchers seem to remember these things.



Wherever You Go, Whatever You Do, Heidi Watney, I Will Be Right Here Waiting For You

2010-04-22T11:30:04.033-04:00

(image)
The reason for my miserable, Watney-free existence has finally been revealed. Turns out the future Mrs. Red has been out with a concussion.
Watney said she’s under doctor’s orders to rest and not work.

Watney said the concussion has left her feeling “foggy” and with a headache, but she’s on the mend. She said she hopes to get the OK to return to work soon because she’s going “stir crazy” in her apartment.

When asked if it was a “Three Stooges” or athletic accident, Watney said “probably more” Three Stooges.

She didn’t, however, say exactly how she got the concussion.
Now, see, I almost wish she'd just let us know what happened, even if it's just making something up for the public consumption. Because not telling us is only gonna set my mind reeling down the path of potentially dangerous sex acts involving skateboards, Crisco, tuning forks, lemon-flavored thongs and dynamite.

But I hope she's better -- and back on the job -- as soon as possible.



One Born Every Minute

2010-04-22T08:34:17.388-04:00

(image)
I think I've figured out one of the keys to the Red Sox' success in 2010: I need to be watching the games.

Seriously. I left Boston last Friday night, just as the tarp was getting pulled onto the field. In my absence, the Sox pulled off one miserable loss after the next. I was on a business trip, getting my updates in bits and pieces, but the news wasn't good. Our boys were spiraling into oblivion faster than Taylor Hicks.

I flew back Tuesday night, and found myself huddled around an airport bar flatscreen as Darnell McDonald sent the crowds home spinning. And last night, I was back at SG HQ for yet another walk-off win, featuring game-winning heroics from Youk, more long ball magic from McDonald, a grand-slam from Drew, and an out-of-the-park shot from Scenic Lowell in a cameo DH appearance.

This is still a team struggling to right itself. None of our starters has an ERA below 5.25. The bullpen hasn't been very bullpenish for the bulk of April. Ortiz is pulling the flame-out we feared he might. The defense and run prevention the team was carved for seems shaky at best. Cameron might need surgery and our catcher can't throw runners out.

But these back-to-back walk-offs have helped reaffirm my faith. Instead of wondering how they're gonna blow it, I want to know how they're going to top themselves. Dare we dream of a third straight walk-off win? Could this one involve Ortiz (probably not, with lefty and noted Twitterer CJ Wilson on the hill)? Does McDonald have another dramatic home run in him? Would Major League Baseball considering lifting its infamous jetpack ban just for one night?

Simply put, these last two games have reminded me that there'll be plenty more magic as the summer days unfurl. I just need to make sure I'm in front of my TV for all of it.



We Can Be Heroes, Just For One Day

2010-04-21T12:02:07.313-04:00

(image) While Ortiz and Drew piled up more strikeouts, a couple of minor-league call-ups stepped in and saved the day. Josh Reddick got the start in center and went 1-for-3 with a two-run double. But it was 31-year-old Darnell McDonald that stole the show. He drilled a two-run, pinch-hit homer in the eighth to tie the game, then stepped to the plate with bases loaded in the ninth and promptly smacked the game-winning single. He was mobbed at the plate in true Red Sox big-game-win fashion...although you will not spot Ortiz in the pile. He was showered, dressed and bolting out the back door.

Ortiz and Drew were a combined 0-for-7 with four strikeouts. For the season, they have 36 K's between them and their batting averages added together don't equal Adrian Beltre's. Drew should be thanking his emotionless robot-god that Ortiz is struggling and taking the attention off of him.

This game was pure ugly for a while, we're talking Roseanne Barr ugly. Wakefield was getting knocked around any time he managed to throw the ball over the plate and Texas runners were stealing everything but Victor Martinez's jock. A win is a win, as they say (whoever "they" really are) but this one did nothing to shorten the line of ex-bandwagoners heading for the Zakim. We need the Commander to show people the way. Tonight.



Bring on the Papi, Bring on the Funk

2010-04-20T18:44:20.359-04:00

(image) This is it. This is the night David Ortiz jumps into a phone booth and Big Papi steps out. Before the season, I wrote this:

I think we will see the triumphant return of the most prolific clutch hitter Boston has ever seen. There was a perfect storm of maladies that converged on Ortiz last season. Any one of them could have caused a hitting slump: all of them at once would be pretty tough for anyone to overcome.
After a slow couple of weeks, I think Ortizzles problem this April is sitting squarely on his shoulders. Last year's start is in his head, the voice of doubt made louder by the looming presence of Mike Lowell on the bench. I think he is a few good swings away from picking up where he left off at the end of last year: as one of the league's most productive sluggers.
Why tonight? Why not. Papi is 2-for-4 with two homeruns against Texas starter Colby Lewis. Call me stupid or stubborn or nostalgic, but I'm not ready to give up on him yet.
Brain-dead radio WEEI callers are, of course, calling for Adrian Gonzalez and looking to see what free agents are available after 2010, because clearly this season is over. Not me, I'm calling for the return of Big Papi: 2-for-3 with a walk and his first homer of the season. And a Red Sox win.
What say you, SG Nation?



Shell-Lackey-ed

2010-04-19T16:18:41.271-04:00

(image) If that headline doesn't win me a Pulitzer, it will at least bring in job offers from the Herald and the NY Post, eh?

The outcome of this game was over long before the first Boston Marathon runner crossed the finish line. An 8-2 drubbing at the hands of Jeff Niemann and those devilish Rays. For those of you keeping score at home, that completes the 4-game sweep with a final run tally of 24-9. To highlight the lack of production on the Sox, the Rays only had 2 more hits than Boston in the series, they just made them count. The Sox were 0-for-30 in the series with runners in scoring position. Ouch.

The bigger disappointment continues to be the starting pitching. Apparently not wanting to feel like the new-guy show-off, John Lackey went out and laid an egg, boosting his ERA to 5.6 in just 3-and-a-third innings. Does anyone feel comfortable with any starting pitcher not named Josh Beckett?

Sadly, it comes as no surprise that the Sox were booed loudly at Fenway this afternoon. Castle Epstein is under siege.



How About That Run Prevention?

2010-04-18T21:08:23.553-04:00

(image)
When it became evident that the Sox were not going to re-sign Jason Bay, questions about the offense were raised. Who would supply the production? Then the Red Sox began assembling the 2010 team. John Lackey was a big-name signing, but he can't hit. The names began to roll in: Beltre, Cameron and Scutaro. No big bat, more like the spare parts that the Red Sox used to build the 2004 World Series team. Guys like Millar and Mueller were important pieces to that puzzle, a team whose end result was certainly greater than the sum of its parts.
But there is a flaw to that plan in 2010 because the lethal 3-4 combination is gone. There are no Boston Bash Brothers, no Weapons of Mass Destruction. In fact, there really isn't either one of them left. Manny was sent away with a kick in the ass, and Ortiz has faded into an aging slugger almost overnight. So the front office comes up with a new mantra for the construction of this club: run prevention. With pitching and defense, who needs a big bat? Just like trying to hide the lack of a closer behind the "closer by committee" veil, the Sox are trying to hide the lack of offense behind the run prevention label. And it isn't going well.
Cameron has already made one lowlight reel, and Scutaro at times looks like he's trying to grab a lump of hot coal instead of a baseball. And does anybody want to talk about the catchers? The guys that can turn a single into a double with one errant throw? The bottom line is this: runs are not being prevented!
Now Red and I are savvy, we know it's only a couple weeks into the season. But how long before the villagers are sharpening their pitchforks and getting their torches ready? Maybe as soon as tomorrow if the sweep occurs.



Let's Do Two!

2010-04-17T15:12:23.165-04:00

(image)
Today we get two games for the price of one, as the Sox and Rays finish up last night's 1-1 tie which got suspended in the ninth inning, then play their regularly-scheduled game. The action starts at 7:10, unless you happen to be sitting in the same airport bar as me, where the action has already started. I'm watching this 50-something dude try to pick up a couple college girls, and if he pulls it off, I'm buying him a beer. As soon as I'm done taking notes.

Also, I'll be on the road for the next couple days, leaving the site in the not-so-capable hands of Denton. If his parole officer okays it, we may get some posts out of him.



Seven in the Rain

2010-04-16T21:51:01.174-04:00

(image) Josh Beckett's night is probably over after pitching seven strong against the Rays. Four hits, one run and eight K's...but he will get a no-decision. He should have had the lead but Tim Bogar had a Wendell Kim moment in the sixth. With Youk on first, Papi pulled a double down the left field line. Bogar waved Youk in fron third and he was cut down...it was the first out of the inning. Surprisingly, Commander didn't come out b!tch-slap Bogar.

The game is in Oki's hands now, still tied at one. Captain Tek supplied the only run with his third long-ball of April. Tampa's run was unearned thanks to a Scutaro error.

And there's this:

Daisuke Matsuzaka pronounced himself ready to return to the Boston Red Sox rotation after throwing six scoreless innings in a minor-league rehab start.

"I think I've thrown enough pitches at this point to be ready to pitch in the big leagues," Matsuzaka said through interpreter Masa Hoshino.



Back to some heavy drinking...



Steroids, Slumps and Lawsuits

2010-04-16T00:24:05.134-04:00

(image) As if there isn't enough pressure on Big Papi, now he's got gangsta rapper thugs after him. Apparently Ortiz isn't the most creative of club-namers, and may have, shall we say...borrowed...the name already used by Jay-Z for a string of sports bars.

"David Ortiz is fully aware of plaintiff's Manhattan 40/40 Club, since he had been a patron there on several occasions long before he opened his infringing Forty/Forty Club," said the lawsuit filed in Manhattan federal court.

Ortiz had no immediate comment on the lawsuit.

Forty-forty? It may explain why Papi tried to steal a base the other day.



Shall I Compare Thee to a Designated Hitter?

2010-04-15T10:12:59.917-04:00

...and the sky will be blue / and I will be... true......to you.The end.That's it?Yeah, man, that's it. What do you want?What I want is some f$%king poetry, man. You don't come to Team Poetry Night with that weak shit time and time again, hombre.I worked hard on that one.Hard? Are you shittin' me? Rhyming "true" with "blue"?! Last week, I came up with an entire series of couplets rhyming with "sphygmomanometer." Top that, bitch!Don't hassle me. Back in 2004, when you guys couldn't write your way out of a paper sack, I was carrying Team Poetry Night! I was John Lennon to your Rick Springfield! The UK version of "The Office" to your inferior US version!But what have you done lately? Hell, we ain't seen so much as a decent haiku outta you in months.So what is this? You're kicking me out of Team Poetry Night?Those are your words, not ours. But...But what?But we can't wait forever for you to snap out of it. We found someone who we think turns a mean sonnet.Yeah, bring him in. Bring in the new guy.Good evening. And might I add that a woman's face with nature's own hand painted / Hast thou, the master mistress of my passion / A woman's gentle heart, but not acquainted / With shifting change, as is false women's fashion.DAYAM. That is some seriously f%^king awesome stuff. That's nip-hardening verse right there. F@#k.Thank you. And might I add that it's a pleasure to be invited to my first Team Poetry Night.That's two "might I add"s! His words are like a song!Face it, Papi. He's outclassed ya. I'm sorry. You just can't hang anymore.You know what? Good. Three [expletive] bad poems, and already you [expletives] are going crazy. What's up with that, man? [Expletive]. I got a lot of [expletive] poetry left in me. That's a [expletive]. One of you [expletives] can go ahead and write for me.::storms out::LATER THAT NIGHT...So. David. I hear you're not part of Team Poetry Night anymore.So? You wanna gloat?Quite the opposite. You know, we Yankees have a rich tradition of poetry ourselves. Surely you remember Thurman Munson's "I Know Why The Caged Jockstrap Sings" or Reggie Jackson's "Show Me Your Tits! I'm Reggie Jackson, For F#$k's Sake!"Heard of them? They're like the holy grail of baseball poetry.Personally, I think you've still got some great works ahead of you. In fact, we're having a little Team Poetry Night of our own this evening. Why don't you drop by. Bring your rhyming dictionary.TWO MONTHS LATER...Them baggy sweat pants and the Reeboks with the straps / She turned around and gave that big booty a smack / She hit the floor / Next thing you know / Shorty got low low low low low low low low...That's... that's pretty awesome, Jeremy.Thank you.Also... it kinda sounds a lot like the lyrics to "Low" by Flo Rida.What are you insinuating?That you're a plagiarist.Huh? Come on, I mean. Okay, sure, Flo Rida wrote the words. But it's like he was looking at the inside of my brain when he wrote them! That shit's my life!Also, I did some research. Looking closely at your last submission, it looks like a page torn from a poetry book with the name "Shakespeare" crossed out and "Jeremy Hermida" scrawled over it. In crayon, I might add.Pshaw. Details. Look, I designed us all sporty caps to wear on Poetry Night!Sorry, man. You know the rules. Just like when Beckett tried to pass off an issue of "Guns and Ammo" as a book of self-composed sonnets--you cheat, you're gone.I stand by my work. Dickhead.But David didn't cheat. He just lost his edge. And when he did, we forgot about all the wonderful poetry he'd been f[...]



Pre-Game Rituals: Real and Imagined

2010-04-14T11:49:01.128-04:00

In last Sunday's Boston Globe Magazine, Amalie Benjamin presented a great piece on Papelbon and his pre-game rituals. The story also touched on a few other Sox players' pre-game habits, including Tim Wakefield's love of crossword puzzles -- something that comes a surprise to absolutely no one.

We suspect, however, that Amalie might have missed a few. So we conducted our own research to uncover even more pre-game rituals of your favorite Sox players and coaches:

Terry Francona:
-- Brew fresh pot of Bigelow tea.
-- Send e-mail to the Bigelow people expressing concerns that new “Boysenberry Blend” seems more “Raspberry” than “Boysenberry.”
-- Spend 10 minutes of “quality time” naked under a Snuggie on office couch.
-- Pretend to be asleep when DeMarlo comes in, asking me to check him for suspicious moles.

Adrian Beltre:
-- Drink two Red Bulls
-- Ten minutes of yoga
-- Ten minutes of flexibility exercises
-- Twenty minutes praying to Androphones, the patron saint of testicles.

Manny Delcarmen:
-- Continue working through Guitar Hero: Van Halen.
-- Preparing for impending National League career.

John Henry:
-- Check to make sure wife hasn’t run off with young gardener.
-- Check to make sure wife hasn’t run off with young mailman.
-- Check stocks, Viagra stores.
-- Check to make sure wife hasn’t run off with Daniel Bard.

Josh Beckett:
-- Assemble stack of 8x10 glossy photos of that day’s opposing batters, cover in fresh-drawn yak’s blood, set afire.
-- Check locker ammo supply in case rebel insurgents launch coup mid-game.
-- Watch Oprah.

If we missed any, put 'em in the comments.



Meet The Twins

2010-04-12T20:46:14.414-04:00

(image) Unless you're a Twins fan...the Minnesota Twins, that is, the first-ever game at Target Field won't be remembered fondly. Jon Lester looked as shaky as he did in his first outing, struggling through five grueling innings. Some other guy in a Red Sox uniform came in and pitched for a while, then Schoeneweis mopped up the last inning. All this while Carl Pavano shut down the Sox offense through six. And justlikethat Red's podcast prediction is gone.

The Sox bats could come up with just seven hits and were never really in this one. Ortiz compiled a couple more K's and his only "hit" in four at-bats actually bounced off the heel of Delmon Young's glove. When is it too soon to worry about Papi?

Tomorrow is the dreaded off-day-after-a-crappy-loss. Talk show callers will be screaming for Papi to ride the pine and Lester to be traded for Javier Lopez, some dude from Seattle with a mole, and the Hudson Brother with the 70's porn 'stache (known in certain circles as "The Eck").

Not Red and I though. You know how we keep an even keel around here. No panic. Not yet.



The Surviving Grady Podcast:
Reviewing Week One

2010-04-12T09:59:22.826-04:00

(image)
For reasons unbeknown to anyone, Denton and I had another go at podcasting. Our second episode offers our take on Opening Day, the first week of play, and why parole sucks. Please note, we actually recorded this thing Saturday night, but our technical ineptitude prevented us from being able to upload it until now.

We've suffered with this long enough; now it's your turn.

(embed)



Don't Shoot Commander Kick Ass,
You'll Only Make Him Mad

2010-04-11T11:33:48.310-04:00

(image)
I can only imagine the reaction back at Red Sox HQ in the bottom of the seventh of last night's game, when a line drive off the bat of David DeJesus went buzzing back toward the mound, threatening to separate Josh Beckett's melon from his shoulders. With a fat contract just signed and our hopes resting largely on Commander Kick Ass, it's likely that more than a few people saw the entire season flash before their eyes in that instant. Thankfully, it only grazed him and, as we all know, what doesn't kill Beckett only pisses him off, whether it's a missile off the bat or an ex-playmate singing the National Anthem. And he went on to get the win.

Last night's performance certainly wasn't vintage Beckett, but it was "good enough" Beckett, especially when combined with some stellar offense, including two home runs by tied-for-the-team-lead-in-dingers Jason Varitek. Alright, so a lot of guys have held the dubious title of "home run leader after just the first week of the season" in Red Sox history, including the great Luis Rivera, so I won't pencil Tek in for 60 round-trippers just yet. But after watching ReliaWake do his thing Friday night, it was kinda cool to see the Captain -- more or less an afterthought of the 2010 season -- get his kicks in, helping to secure Commander Kick Ass' first win of the season. And, holy crap, was that Scenic Mikey Lowell, announcing his intent to retire at the end of this season before the game, getting all Spider-Man on us and making a stellar defensive grab in the second? About the only thing this one was missing was Johnny Pesky stepping into the on-deck circle.

A textbook definition of a "team win," and one that sets the stage nicely for this afternoon's rubber game. It's Buchholz vs. Meche at 2:10, people. Pull up a chair and join us.