Coming to Grips.

Now We Know How Mets Fans Feel In September.

Just about three weeks ago, I left the country for an amazing vacation in Europe. We drank, we danced and we had a blast. Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, it seems everything had gone to shit. The 2010 Red Sox are done like dinner. They had a shot to be really, really good, but injuries, ineffectiveness and all manner of crappy decision making led them to the point they are at now: playing out the string with a collection of old guys, cast offs and minor leaguers.

Sure, the pitching is still pretty good. Buchholz deserves some nods for Cy Young, and Jon Lester is still the man, but Beckett and Lackey are underperforming like it was super cool, and we are learning that no matter how good your pitching is, you still need to defend and score some freaking runs to win games.

Ever since I got back, I have been searching for answers as to how it got this bad. Had Theo tempted fate a little to much by calling this season a “Bridge Year” in the spring and then throwing the team’s highest payroll ever out there? Did we all need a fall free of drama, sleepless nights and heavy drinking? Did the fans (I’m looking at you, Benny Bagels) make this happen by not watching? Did the baseball gods finally decide that injuries had stayed too far away from the Sox?

No matter who it is that we blame (I’m thinking the injuries may have something to do with it though) this season was a missed opportunity in many many ways. The Sox were 36-20 through May and June, dominating everyone (it helped that they were 13-5 against the senior circuit) and seemingly getting ready to put a hurting on the Yanks and Rays. Then the bug hit; Beckett was already on the DL, Victor and Pedey went down within a few days and then, just after the break, when things were looking like they might get back to normal, Youk somehow got an injury that f#$%ing nobody ever gets, and was shut down for the season. (Don’t even mention Ellsbury. He is dead to me and will be so until he returns and steals home again) There were just too many injuries and the outfield of McDonald, Hall and Drew hasn’t exactly been what we planned on.

Don't we all need more Beard in our lives?

The nail in the coffin has really been (amazingly) the goddamn Baltimore Orioles. The Orioles were mathematically eliminated about three hours after pitchers and catchers reported, but they have beaten the Sox to a tune of 7-6 this season. No, you aren’t reading that wrong, the Sox have lost seven of the thirteen games they have played against the Baltimore “33 Games Out” Orioles. They are 11-4 against the Blue Jays, who are at least good enough to be troublemakers this month, but they can’t freaking beat a team that I’m pretty sure dropped two of three to the Japanese Little Leaguers. Last night’s game just proved it to me, this season is over.

With the top four guys in the lineup all missing significant (Read: devastating) time this season, what did we really expect?

Go Sox.

Done.

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In other fat white guys news… The Rocket is a Liar

In a karmic boomerang of congressional action, Roger “I didn’t Do It” Clemens has been indicted for perjuring himself before congress. [Insert dirty joke about doing something to himself in front of congress here.]

All Natural.

Well, Roger… don’t you feel stupid. You’ve proven once again the old adage, it’s not the deed that does you in, it’s the lie you tell about it.

I remember thinking, while his boob of a lawyer, Rusty Overbill, was advising him to deny, deny, deny, that someone should get in this guy’s ear and tell them to make up a much better story about his trainer boosting his wife with B12 shots… and further more… that this dude is gonna fry someday soon.

Well, sports fans, that day of fryalation is at hand. The Wall Street Journal has reported Clemens’ indictment on six counts of perjury. It’s gonna get realllllly expensive from here on out for Mr. Clemens. Just think, every single pro athlete that pointed their finger at congress, telling them, “let me be clear,” or “make no mistake…” is not either in jail, in a foreign country, sans Olympic metals, or paying ridiculously high legal bills.

Guys in white suits always get themselves covered in sh!t.

Even the great chauvinist, Rick Pitino, who tactfully forced himself on some cocktail waitress in a dark bathroom somewhere, and then paid her to get an abortion (condoms are sooo 1990’s), said, “If you do something bad and lie about it, it becomes a part of your future. If you do something bad and tell the truth, it becomes a part of your past.”

SMC

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CC Sabathia is Fat.

An old favorite:

Go Sox.

Done.

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Javy Vazquez is My Homie.

That’s right. I love the guy.

Awesome

The Sox go into a weekend series needing to win three of four to stay afloat in the playoff race, and the Yanks are throwing Javier “Gave up the grand slam to Johnny Damon which officially killed the curse” Vazquez to start out against Buchholz. Could there be any situation better? Vazquez is 3-7 against the Sox lifetime and sucked so bad at one point this season that he almost got Joba’d back to the minors (or worse, to the NL).

As I said before, this is the best possible way to start the reacharound series, our most consistent guy against their crappiest. After last night’s domination by Dice-K, and the timely awesomeness of Adrian Beltre (my preseason pick for AL MVP), the momentum is with the Sox and if Earl Weaver was right when he said “Momentum is the next day’s starting pitcher” you gotta feel pretty good right now.

The apocalypse is upon us again and you can be sure that SMC and I will be hanging on every pitch.

Go Sox.

Done.

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The Beard Is On The Shelf.

No more of this for the year.

Just got the email saying that Kevin Youkilis is done until February with the torn abductor muscle in his thumb. Every time we get excited (after the Laser Show put on a, um, laser show in Denver), every time things are going well (Victor comes off the DL to help sweep LAAAAAAA), every time there is a reason to believe this season (Beckett goes 8, gives up one and suggests to Shelly Duncan in no uncertain terms that Fist can be a verb), the Baseball Gods come down to give us one more collective kick in the junk. They are getting back at Theo for suggesting that this was a bridge year by injuring enough guys on an extremely talented team to make it one.

This feels just like Game 7 of the ALCS in 2008, except it’s August. Downtrodden, disillusioned. I hope Daisuke can give us something to make us keep watching tonight….. Is that Pedroia jogging in the outfield?

Go Sox.

Done.

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It Just Never F#$%ing Ends

After getting Bogared again last night (our third base coach cost us the game when he twice sent runners who got gunned down at the plate and then we lost by one), the Sox are fading fast in both the wild card and the division, which both stand at 6.5 games (the Rays and Yanks are tied). The team is really good, unfortunately the injuries, which officially became ridiculous last night, have kept the club in neutral from day 1.

And now Youk might be done for the season. Last night, Youk left the game after jamming his thumb on a soft liner to short. I, along with what must be countless other Sox fans, went straight to the bottle and straight to 2011 in my mind. Today, however, I am reassured, because even with the lack of success against the bottom feeders of the AL (14-14 against the Indians, O’s and Royals ain’t gonna cut it), this team has a lot of time and a lot of talent to get back into things. So Youk joins Pedroia and Ellsbury (who had best becoming back soon) on the DL, we’ll survive.

"hey, look what I found."

The good news is the return of the Lowell connector. Instead of having to go out and find a waiver wire deal to fill the spot, the Sox happen to have a guy who has a World Series MVP, two rings, and an uncanny resemblance to George Clooney waiting in the wings after going 11-22 with a three homer game on a minor league rehab stint. That’s right, Treebeard is back, manning first base for the time being, and stepping on pitchers throats with impunity.

Beckett takes the mound tonight with the guy who was once thought to just be baggage on his deal playing behind him (along with Beltre and the rest of the usual replacements) to continue his reign of badassery.

Go Sox.

Done.

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Now Giving Lessons In Clutchitude: David Ortiz.

There wasn’t much to say about Friday night’s baseball game between the Red Sox and Tigers. Even Ortiz’ best attempt to play 2004 with a grand slam in the ninth wasn’t enough to recover from the bullpen, and the Sox lost 6-5. See, not much to say, because that’s it.

Yesterday looked to be more of the same, as the Sox kept stranding runners, over and over again. They had runners on second and third with one out in the sixth, and Ortiz struck out. Then they had them loaded after scoring two runs in the seventh, and Ortiz struck out (anyone sensing a pattern here?). They couldn’t buy a hit with runners in scoring position and it looked like the slow death of the season was upon us.

That’s when Jim Leyland decided that he feared Youk with runners on second and third in the ninth more than he did Ortiz with the bases loaded. Apparently he didn’t watch the game the day before. Anyways, we get a double to the gap, three runs score and the Sox walk off in style 5-4. Take notes, managers, don’t pitch to David Ortiz with the bases loaded in the ninth.

I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention that the Sox finally got Jarrod Saltallamacchia at the deadline so that he can spend the next few months absorbing everything that Jason Varitek has to tell him. It’s a good thing and having a real catcher with potential in the system makes me a lot more comfortable.

We’ve got one more with the Tigers this afternoon.¬†Sweet.

Go Sox.

Done.

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