Monthly Archives: May 2009

Screw Canada.

Fuck canadaAt least when the Sox were in the U.S. they could win a few games.

And this is what I have to say to all of those ass holes who are going to want to tell me how Canada is a worthwhile country and not a waste of space that the U.S. would have conquered if it had been worth the 15 minutes it would have taken. Yeah Thats Right.

In case you haven’t guessed, I’m not happy that the Sox dropped two to the goddamn BJs. I hate it when they’re on the road.

Go Sox.

Done.

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Pull Your Head Out Of Your Ass: Jason Varitek is Not on Steroids.

Warning: This post written under the influence of Big League Chew.

America: F@#$ Yeah!People out there know that I have long been a supporter of the Boston Red Sox captain, Jason Varitek. I am loving his offensive resurgence after a miserable season, and I am frankly insulted at the assumptions, after his two homer day yesterday brought him to 10 0n the season, that his performance is due to some type of steroid. Look, last season was a hard time in the man’s life and he struggled at his job. We’ve all been there. But to assume that this is not natural is ridiculous.

I think that people are discounting the influence that personal issues can have on a player’s performance. Tek AloneIn 2007 we were all over J.D. Drew for his lack of production (except for the $14 million swing in game 6 of the ALCS) while his child was undergoing treatment for a serious medical condition. Last season, while he still didn’t live up to his contract, Drew’s performance was vastly improved, especially when he was hitting in the third spot during Ortiz’ injury in June. The same could be said for our Captain last season. He was going through a nasty (by all reports) divorce and had his worst offensive season as a pro (by becoming a serial killer of rallies), but still managed a pitching staff that helped the Sox get to the seventh game of the ALCS.

Tek HitsNow that he has had a whole offseason to get the monkey of his back, work with Dave Magadan and retool his whole approach at the plate from the left hand side, his average has improved and his power numbers are up. Why is it that people are instantly assuming that, even with the other factors that had limited him last year and also the increased rigors of MLB’s drug testing policy (Manny’s positive has to be evidence that something is working a little at least), Varitek is using some type of PEDs? Couldn’t the fact that he ran into a rookie pitcher who left balls middle in and up to him yesterday play a part? Do you perform as well at your job when everything else in your life is going to shit? If you were to come back and start performing well again would your coworkers, bosses and other observers think you were cheating or would they think you were just back from a tough time? Why is it that we expect athletes to not be subject to the same outside pressures that affect us at our jobs as well?

Good Job Oki.Everyone who has instantly jumped on the PED bandwagon with Tek needs to have their conspiracy gland checked for overactivity. Varitek is not on pace to hit something absurd like 50 home runs, but 30, and we all know that he hasn’t gotten to the hardest part of his season under the hot summer sun. The hard work that he and his hitting coach have put in deserves some credit for what he has done, and his .021 increase in batting average is not so astronomical that it is hard to believe. Please just turn down the douchebaggery and just enjoy the season we are getting from our captain.

Now if David Ortiz just hadn’t died this winter everything would be alright.

Go Sox.

Done.

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Big Ups to Dave Magadan.

Red Sox Twins Baseball

Give your hitting coach that fist bump.

Can somebody give Dave Magadan the props he deserves? All winter and spring, the Red Sox hitting coach worked with Jason Varitek on uncomplicating his swing from the left side of the plate and making it simpler. The idea was to make the swing one fluid motion as opposed to the process that had gone into it in past seasons, and it seems that it has worked. He’s no Joe Mauer (he’s 12 years older), but the Captain is now hitting .243 (.021 higher than last year) and yesterday, he went out and hit two home runs (he has 10 on the season now, five from each side of the plate, and is on pace for 33), giving Josh Beckett enough firepower to win the Sox last ever (thank you jeebus) game at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome.

Red Sox Twins BaseballTek’s performance yesterday wasn’t limited to the offensive side of the ball, although his second bomb of the day was a thing of beauty (427 feet and the game winner). He was a part of a vintage “I got let down by my bullpen after a great outing in my last start so I’m pissed and going to take it out on the Twins” Josh Beckett Performance (7IP, 3H, 1R) where the Ace looked more like his 2007 self than the guy we had seen last season and into this spring.

Do you have any idea who you are talking to?

Do you have any idea who you are talking to?

Beckett was even spouting fire at the home plate ump, a guy who was brought up from triple A for the game (Umpires do that too, and that makes him not worth mentioning by name), and was clearly awed by the stage he was on, and even then Tek had his pitcher’s back. After the new guy had tossed the Twins manager and catcher in the top of the inning (on a very short fuse and a questionable call), Varitek came to the rescue of an angry Beckett, who thought he was getting squeezed. Tek, and Tito, got tossed, allowing Optimus Prime to finish the inning.

Never Forget

Never Forget

Now some may remember that I spent much of the winter convincing the whole world (alright, you three people who read this on a daily basis) that the Red Sox should bring back Jason Varitek. Through 48 Games (35 of which Tek has caught) he is hitting .243, has 10 Home Runs, and 22 RBI. His power numbers are huge for this early in the season, and that can be expected to taper off as the weather gets warmer and the physical strain of spending every night behind the plate, wearing all of that gear in the hot summer months, starts to drain him. However, his hitting looks to stay at about the same level, and with the shortage of quality Major League catching, a backstop who can hit around .250 and handle the pitching staff as well as our Captain does is a precious commodity. Vindication is mine (bitches).

The Sox are off to Toronto for a weekend series against the Jays, who haven’t won a game since they walked into Fenway last week. With the cream (that would be the Sox) of the AL east having risen to the top finally, it’s time to start focusing on the reals season which means that we need to be rooting for whichever team the Yanks are playing. So go Cleveland, your city won’t suck as much if you beat the Yanks this weekend.

Go Sox.

Done.

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F the Metrodome. Hard.


I feel the same way.

I feel the same way.

When you get up in the morning after a hosebag game like that one it’s easy to get down about simple things. The Sox have yet to win a game started by Matsuzaka, who now has as many losses this season as he did all of last year. There were six (6) wild pitches thrown by the pitching staff, most of which led to runs scored, and some of that has to be blamed on the pitching staff’s lack of familiarity with backup catcher George Kottaras, primarily on the part of the pitcher who can’t speak English. Though Ellsbury and Pedroia extended their hitting streaks (22 and 10 respectively), and Bay hit homer number 14, the rest of the team couldnt manage anything off Kevin Slowey. David Ortiz sucks in the six spot just as much as he did in the three.

Goddman Fucking BaggieWhat do I blame this on? Minnesota, and their f#$%ing dome. This is the worst place ever for baseball, from the ridiculous “baggie” in right field, to the fact that where there should be bleachers, there are folded up football seats. Whoever thought it was a good place to play baseball, with the hard turf, lack of sky, and dumb ass hefty bag as a right field wall (yes I know I have mentioned that twice, but it’s really really stupid) needs to be put down.

Fear Beckett, Seriously.

Fear this man.

And for the good news, after Beckett goes out this afternoon and spits nails and snorts fire at the Twins until they just submit and actually come to bat without anything in their hands because to make any effort would simply be futile, we won’t see the Twins for the rest of the season. Or the Metrodome EVER. They are closing it down for baseball and opening up new, beautiful, outdoor, turfless Target Field next April.

So enjoy the afternoon game and if you need a good excuse to get out of work at the last minute, try a family exorcism, your dog’s emergency vet appointment (he swallowed a load of cocaine that you were plaining on transporting on your next business trip), or that your kid took his pants off and humped a ficus in his school (what? he’s 26? Who cares, the excuse still works).

Beckett vs some guy who is below our radar, 1:10 pm.

Go Sox.

Done.

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Artificial Turf: Former Detroit Backer Joins Patriots and Brady

I cant decide between a Well always have Paris joke or a John Lenon reference.

I can't decide between a "We'll always have Paris" joke or a John Lenon reference. Any way, here he is crushing Clinton Portis.

While the news of the past two days has been Tom, Tom, Tom; and rightfully so, the Patriots announced another signing today, linebacker Paris Lenon. The 31 year old 8 year veteran led the crappy blue Lions in tackles last season with 121. He had a sack and a half and forced two fumbles. In 2007, Lenon recorded 118 tackles. Good player on a crappy 4-3 team. Will be a better player on a superior 3-4 team.

HallAMAzoola. Put it one the board. Cheeeampionship.

HallAMAzoola. Put it one the board. Cheeeampionship.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the ball, Randy Moss and Wes Welker are prophesizing that the 2009 offense will be even more prolific than the record breaking video game offense of 2007. Brady is back, and says he’s gonna play until he’s 41. “I don’t want to worry about what I’m gonna do after football and I don’t know what else I’d do now,” he told SI’s Peter King. He also told King that the staph infection was his fault and not his doctors, which I am calling bullsh%t on right now. That’s just Brady being Brady and taking one for the team. I’m assuming the Krafts had him looked over at MGH before he hit the field.

Though I’m still calling for proof from performance and a dedicated attempt to cease man pursing, Brady seems to be all business. Within the first couple reps behind the o-line running through plays, he was barking at Moss for screwing up a route. Welcome back, Sir Brady, I believe your locker is still there.

The rookies are coming along, the Vets have arrived, and we’ll be hating preseason games in just a few months. You can almost smell the fresh artificial turf in the air.

With more to come,

StartMattCassel

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Give the Man Some Run Support.

O.K. so I said that I was going to comment on the Sox’ experiment with the batting order after the first game of it. I lied. Because everybody sucked last night.

Lets get a slightly larger sample before we pass judgement.

Lets get a slightly larger sample before we pass judgement.

Ortiz was 1-3 with a walk and a double, and it is not his fault he was stranded on second after leading off the second inning with that double. At this point, it is impossibe to see how the shift in the lineup went due to the fact that the guys couldn’t score any runs and this time instead of leaving men on base, Ortiz was the one left on.

The more alarming trend is the propensity of our starting pitching staff to have that one bad inning. It may be that they all caught an STD from the same skank (and she got it from Matsuzaka), or it may just be the added innings load that some of them threw last season (hello Jon Lester’s 210 innings last season, I’m looking at you), but they have all lapsed into the same issue that the Wiggler has always had.

Lester pitching in MinnesotaIt’s not the whole game where they are giving up a steady stream of runs, or even one here and one there. It is the one bad inning that more often than not leads to Red Sox losses. They can be cruising along and just “boom” a few bad pitches (like Morneau’s three run bomb last night) and the Sox are down big. It’s nothing new, but it is an alarming trend. Lester’s last two losses show much the same pattern as last night. The four run sixth in Seattle (when lester couldn’t get the DP and the inning extended) and the six run fifth in Tampa, and even the three run fifth against the Yanks in a game he won all show the pattern of the one inning with a crooked number.

Let’s take a step back though and look at last night. Nick Blackburn? Nick Effing Blackburn? How do you expect to win when you can’t get your starter any runs against that guy. Granted, Lester needs to be better, his 6.07 ERA will attest to that, but if a guy isn’t getting any run support, then that five run fifth inning might as well be 100. ┬áLester’s been backed up by some of the weakest run support in the league (not that I’m looking at anyone else’s but his is so low that it has to be amongst the lowest). His run support numbers while he has been in the game for his ┬ástarts (Lester’s result in parenthesis): 1 (L), 2 (L), 2 (W), 2 (ND), 2 (ND), 5 (W), 1 (L), 4 (L), 5 (W), 1 (L). That adds up to 3-5 (the team is 5-5 in games that Lester starts), and only once have the Sox bats given him more than two runs to work with and he has still lost.

He does this every night. Every night.

He does this every night. Every night.

Last night was mostly a shitty night but there is one more issue to discuss. Our friend BallFour asked the other day if there was another gear that we are going to see from the kid in center field or if this was what to expect. He’ll get a bit better but hitting .300, stealing bases (two more last night, 20 total so far, on pace for 70), and having a web gem every few nights in center (did you see the catch he made last night?) is really all you can ask of a centerfielder. And his hitting streak has extended to 21 games. At this pace he is one of the best game changers in the league.

I also want to throw some love towards the woman selected by our President as the next Supreme Court Justice. Not only is Sonia Sotomayor the first Hispanic woman to be nominated for the high court, but she also ended the baseball strike in the spring of ’95. Thanks Sonia.

Go Sox.

Done.

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Update: Ortiz drops to sixth in the lineup, Drew third.

In the long awaited lineup move of the season Terry Francona has finally dropped David Ortiz from his customary third spot in the batting order. J.D. Drew will be replacing Ortiz in the third spot. Jeff bailey is also in the lineup tonight playing first base as Mike Lowell takes a scheduled day off and Kevin Youkilis plays third.

This is the best way to do it, as the artist formerly known as Big Papi is not forced into the dreaded lower third of the lineup, Tito gets the top four in the lineup to maintain its left-right-left-right alignment, and Drew steps back into the spot he occupied last season during his awesome month of June (.337, 12 home runs). I’m sure I’ll have more to say after game one of the great experiment, and of course I’ll enjoy watching the guy that the Sox are going to trade Buchholz Bowden and Josh Reddick for in the offseason: Joe Mauer (please).

Go Sox.

Done.

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