Tag Archives: Alex Gonzalez

Walkoffs Have Style, But Don’t Get Carried Away With Yourself.

That was awesome.

I’ll be the first to admit that the Sox second straight walkoff win, paired with the most exciting hockey game I have seen since the Olympics, was really really fun. This mini-streak, however, is not enough to distract me from the fact that this team is still looking kind of shaky. Tuesday’s Darnell McDonald fueled win did a lot to make me feel better and allowed me to wonder how they (and the Bruins) were going to win, not how they were going to fall apart.

That Was Not Good.

That said, there is a lot to question with how this team is playing. The starters all, except Buchholz, have ERAs above five and a quarter, and Buchholz has given up five unearned in his 10 innings. There have been flashes of brilliance, but nothing as to what we were lead to believe we were going to see this spring. The bullpen hasn’t been sterling either. Bard, Papelbon and Okajima were on point last night, giving up one hit in five innings of work, including two each from Paps and Bard, but beyond them, nobody has really been all that reliable. They all have that Rudy Seanez vibe to them,  and with the offense not exactly lighting things up, they will have far less room for suckitude.

Remind me again why Scutaro is better at $6 million than this guy at three.

The defense, which was supposed to be dazzling and save mad runs for the team, is now tied for 13th in the majors in both fielding percentage (.983) and errors (10 in 15 games). Guys that were brought in specifically for their defense, like Scutaro, Cameron and Beltre, all have errors, and Scutaro has been, in the short sample, another continuation of the curse of Nomar. Just so everyone knows, Alex Gonzalez is hitting .284 with five home runs in Toronto, while still playing his customary gorgeous defense. Ask Buchholz how much he misses that.

O.K. J.D, now all you have to do is bring your average above .150. You Suck.

There are still no guarantees about the offense either. While scoring 15 runs in the past two nights is definitely a big upgrade over what we saw this weekend, J.D. Drew (who responded to my heckling from the stands on Tuesday by coming up big last night), David Ortiz, Mike Cameron and Bill Hall all have sucked, and Pedroia is the only guy on the team who is hitting over .300 (.306). The lone truly bright spots have been Youk’s .358 OBP and .840 OPS (which make his .250 average look much better) and the fact that Darnell is 3-5 with two bombs, four RBI and is slugging 1.800.

Enjoy the past two nights, root for Buck to get some defense and give us a quality start, and have faith. Remember that there is still a lot of work to be done, 147 games to be played, and one first baseman to be pried away from the Padres. Sox play at 7:10 and the NFL draft starts at 7:30 (more on that from SMC later).

Go Sox.

Done.

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Marco Scutaro and other Baseless Speculation on the Red Sox Hot Stove Season.

This video is serious, by the way… not like, from me… but someone actually made it… in real life…

…With only a few days left until the Winter Meetings (my favorite non-baseball season week of the year), nobody really has any idea what is going on with the Red Sox. Last year we all knew that they were going to go hard after the guy whose balls are in Leigh Teixeira’s handbag (obviously not hard enough) and that the Yanks were going to sign a fat guy. In the weeks since the end of the season, there have been rumors of everything from the Sox getting Roy Halladay for Buchholz and Casey Kelly (who is both a shortstop and starting pitcher), to them signing Matt Holiday instead of Jason Bay so that they could net an extra draft pick, to Theo giving up his first born, Mike Lowell and the souls of half the front office to get Hanley Ramirez back and end the curse of Nomar.

SCOOOOOOOOOOOOT

The most recent word with any certainty is that Marco Scutaro, a career utility player who managed to put in a career year last season in Toronto, wants to come to Boston and the team has sent Allard Baird to see him work out and requested his medical records. Of course, this wouldn’t have been necessary if the team (meaning Theo, who really has to prove his shit this offseason) hadn’t crapped the bed when they had a chance to resign Alex Gonzalez, who has been the closest thing to an actual shortstop that the Sox have had since Cabrera and his “off-field issues” departed after 2004. The most recent report is that Scutaro is about to sign a two year deal, with an option for a third, which should be just enough time to let Jose Iglesias (by all reports he does not have a large facial mole), the Sox wiz kid shortstop of the future, to season in the minors. With the option of Gonzalez off the table, this is the best move possible.

Contrary to popular opinion, this move does not take away the possibility of the return of Hanley. Scutaro is a much better defensive shortstop (and by much better I mean that Hanley sucks) and Ramirez could be an answer in the outfield if Bay doesn’t return.

Please come home.

The other thing we know is that the team is putting on the full court press to re sign Jason Bay, and that Matt Holliday is not really on the radar. Bay is the best fit, having proven that he can thrive in the atmosphere of Boston and the American League, which Holliday has yet to do. Holliday’s only AL experience to this point, in fact, was a disastrous experience with the A’s at the start of last season, where he hit .286 with 11 HR and 54 RBI in 93 games. When he returned to St. Louis, had Albert Pujols protecting him, and was in the more comfortable National League again, Holliday hit .353, with 13 HR and 55 RBI in Only 63 games. There will be competition for Bay’s services, though, seeing as he is the most complete, proven player on the market. He recently turned down the Sox 4 year, $60 Million offer, and is getting interest from the Yanks (who declined arbitration on John Damon and are in the market for a left fielder), Seattle (Bay’s adopted home town) and likely the Angels among others. I say Theo should give him the “FU J.D.” deal of five years and $80 million, just to show Drew that he doesn’t deserve to be the highest paid player on a perennial contender.

Mrs. About To Be Traded For A Power Hitter

Free agents aside, and there aren’t many other big name ones to speak of, the Sox look to be movers and shakers in the trading market. From using all of the blackmail materials that Theo has on Hoyer from their years together to get Adrian Gonzalez, to trying to pry Hanley Ramirez back from the Marlins to undo the trade that Theo would never have made had he not run away in a gorilla suit in the fall of 2006. These are all just ideas, and apparently the GMs get together at the meetings and just throw packages at each other (just like you and your buddies do in bars or in front of the TV at home). The Sox do have what seems to be the strongest trading chip of the offseason in Clay Buchholz, a young, cheap pitcher who is improving fast and the team still has control over for five seasons.

Hello, my name is Miguel and my wife kicked my ass.

The one idea I still don’t like is giving up Buchholz for Roy Halladay. Halladay is one of the best pitchers in the Majors and has been for a while, but he is 34, and will either be a one year loaner or a guy you have to give $20 million per to keep. This is the same argument I made when the Sox were thinking of trading Lester, Coco and Lowrie to the Twins for Johan Santana. Then as now, I said the only reason to make the deal is to keep him away from the Yanks. A much better path to follow is using that chip (Clay) to acquire a young power hitter in the way of a Gonzalez or Miguel Cabrera (that is only possible thanks to the auto industry collapsing all over Detroit). Gonzalez is preferable since he doesn’t already have the big dollar deal, but aside from the drinking and getting his ass kicked by his wife, Cabrera is supposedly a great clubhouse guy who would be a prefect replacement for Ortiz at DH after his contract expires next fall. Cabrera isn’t as good defensively as Gonzalez, and would likely be more of a DH than a first baseman, but if Lars Anderson ever pans out in the minors we’ve got that covered.

Then again, I have no f#$%ing clue what is going to happen.

Go Sox.

76 days.

Done.

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Nobody Expects the Curse of Nomar.

Don't you hate it when your groin muscle pulls away from the bone?

When I awoke/stopped vomiting (due to being full of pre Thanksgiving travel food) this morning, I was planning to write about my thoughts on the various trade rumors surrounding the Boston Red Sox and Clay Buchholz. For the second off season in the past four years, one of the best pitchers in the AL is available on the trade market and numerous other players are within the realm of possibility.

But then I checked Extra Bases and found that the Curse of Nomar had struck again. I know we (Red Sox fans) are thought to be overly willing to call any amount of bad luck (or pure suckitude) a curse (like Shaughnessy’s made up Curse of the Bambino), but this time it really is a Billy Goat level curse. When Nomar Garciaparra was traded away from the Red Sox on July 31st 2004, he struck the team with a curse, not to have a successful shortstop (meaning one who didn’t make us want to swallow a winchester) while he was still in the league.

Today that curse came back to get us just when we thought things might be a little bit more settled. Alex Gonzalez, the Sox starting shortstop in 2006 and the guy who gave us some type of stability last August and September, was thought to be an option to come back. The team had declined a $6 million option on Gonzo a few weeks ago, but was still planning on offering him a one year $3 million deal, especially after he hit .280 down the stretch with an unexpected burst of power.

Then came this morning’s report that Gonzo had signed with the Toronto BJs for a one year deal worth $2.75 Mil. The Curse has struck again. The Sox will need another new shortstop.

So who will be the next bearer of the curse? The options are Marco Scutaro, a versatile guy who is coming off a career year, and, um, …. …. yeah. Adam Everett, Khalil Greene (best white guy name ever, it just makes me want to make jihad jokes) and Miguel Tejada are also options, but this is not 2006 and this is also not the NL West. The Sox need to get this settled, and a one year stopgap measure is not going to make it.

The other option that everyone is always mentioning is Orlando Cabrera, who took over for Nomar in 2004, but he has worn out his welcome on for other ballclubs since then, and was not resigned by the Sox for “Off-Field Issues,” which means that dudes boof him. Of course, I can’t confirm that, but since 2004, everybody who has been asked in public and may actually know has refused to answer for fear of being sued for libel.

More soon on all of the trade speculation, unless something went down at dinner tonight, Schilling style.

Happy Thanksgiving, Go Sox.

84 Days.

Done.

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A Year and A Day Later and We Still Suck.

Never Forget

Never Forget

One year ago yesterday, while mired in one of those jobs which crushes the soul and addles the mind, it all began. Frustrated over people’s constant under appreciation of Jon Lester and the surprise being shown at his tremendous effort in game one of the ALDS, I started this little site with my cousin, StartMattCassel, to set the record straight. 476 rambling, sometimes incoherent columns later, we are still at it (almost) every day. Nobody is more surprised than I am, because the two of us have never stuck with anything that took more effort than watching the game or lifting a glass for this long, and we had always made fun of those “you can read about it on my blog” guys.

We just want to say thanks for sticking with us, commenting and helping us to find better ways to express the unrealistic expectations, over the top reactions and daily heartbreak of being a Boston sports fan. We plan on continuing to be here for a good long time, so keep reading because our level of self worth is directly related to those little numbers that we see on our stats page every day. No Seriously.

The Sox won again last night, The Wiggler looked good, tonight’s game is probably not going to get played unless John Henry’s hedge fund goes up to the point where he can put a roof on Fenway this afternoon and all of the important guys are kicking ass at just the right time. Gonzo’s hand will be fine (even if we have to ducttape that sucker back together until November), and the only thing better than one Red Sox game on the last day of the regular season would be two.

Thanks for keeping us going. Oh, and F#$% A-Rod.

Go Sox.

Done.

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You Can Win A World Series With Alex Gonzalez at Shortstop, And Apparently Umpires are Afraid of Us.

This is starting to remind me of years past.

This is starting to remind me of years past.

I know, I know. I was the guy who, three months ago was agreeing with Steve Berthiaume every time he would yell out that you could win a World Series with Nick Green at shortstop. I was wrong. You can win games with Nick Green playing shortstop better than he has in his entire life, but you need a real starting shortstop to win a World Series.

Sick.

Sick.

And now the Sox have one. I have admittedly had a bit of a man crush on Alex Gonzalez ever since 2006, when he hit .240-something but played the kind of defensive shortstop that reminds me why I love baseball in the first place. He even had a few clutch hits in there and was one of the bright spots in an admittedly dark season. Since his return this year, Gonzalez has been nothing short of a revelation. He is now hitting .299 with the Sox, and it seems every one of those hits was clutch. He started the winning rally on Tuesday, had the tie breaking hit in the sixth last night, and then had a walk-off single (helped by the complete lack of effort by Juan Rivera, how was he not beaten to a pulp by John Lackey after the game?) to cap the night. Plus, he still plays defense like God put him on a diamond to take hits away from people (Tim Tebow would have given Jesus the credit). Explain to me again why we signed Lugo instead of him before ’07?

"I know, I'm scared of them too, these people are effing crazy"

"I know, I'm scared of them too, these people are effing crazy"

The Angels, who are about to get swept when Beckett is Beckett tonight, have sunk to a new low in Fenway. Their post season struggles with the Sox not withstanding, they are now admitting that we, the fabled members of Red Sox Nation, have such power that Umpires are afraid of angering us. That’s right, kids, Mike Scioscia, esteemed manager of the Angels, insinuated after last night’s game that the home plate and first base umps were actually afraid to make a call against the Sox during the ninth last night. He said that they didn’t want to piss off 38,000 keyed up Sox fans. I’m fine with that. (For the record, the check swing was legit, but the pitch that was ball four was actually strike three, and the Ump was straight up afraid to call Nick Green out)

Go Sox.

Done.

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Insert Generic Dice Reference Here: Matsuzaka Beats Angels.

It looks like him, but this guy doesn't nibble. Weird.

It looks like him, but this guy doesn't nibble. Weird.

O.K., I’m not the smartest guy in the neighborhood, but I’m pretty sure that was a lot closer to what the Red Sox thought they were spending $100 Million on in the winter of 2006. In his first start since June, Daisuke Matsuzaka went six innings last night, giving up 0 runs on three hits and getting more Ks than he had walks. At least, it looked like him. It was the same motion, same goofy japanese wiggle before moving towards the plate, and same bewildered look, but that was all that was familiar about the guy who took the mound last night.

He attacked the zone like we have never seen him, went four innings before giving up a hit (and earlier in the day, Tito had been talking about how it was just one start and even if he threw a No Hitter he would still just have to move on, so you can just imagine what was going through my head in the fourth), and best of all, he did it against the best hitting team in the bigs. Those same Angels also happen to be our likely first round opponent, like they are every year.

I think he was shocked at how far this ball traveled too.

I think he was shocked at how far this ball traveled too.

There is nothing to take from last night’s game but encouragement. Whoever was wearing number 18 for the Sox looked ready to become one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse along with Beckett, Lester and Buchholz. His reaction to the start when asked about it after the game? “On the road back, I’ve been a burden on my teammates more than anything and I feel that I owe them.” Sounds to me like someone is back on board. The bats, which I feared would struggle without Beardzilla and Vic in the lineup (back spasms and family issues respectively) did enough to win, with the key rally being started by Alex “This is what Nomar should have been at this point” Gonzalez, who has shown his appreciation for Theo bringing him back by adding a clutch bat to the great glove in his toolbox (now hitting .287). Some late inning insurance from Bay and Ortiz (who hit his record setting 270th Home Run as a DH so hard that you wonder if Jose Arredondo was just trying to do whatever he could to get his name into the record books), and then the pen cleaned up the rest.

It only gets better when you realize that the Yanks (this is not over), Rangers (this is over), and the Rays (ha) all lost, widening the Wild Card lead and creeping ever closer to the Yanks, who felt they had to show that they were big men by getting in a fight with the Blue Jays (started by a certain pear-shaped bastard whose initials are Jorge Posada).  The our post season hopes are looking better by the day.

And someone should remind the Angels that they are 1-12 against the Sox in October since game five of the ’86 ALCS.

Go Sox.

Done.

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Instead of Ned Beatty, Tonight The Part Of Bobby Will Be Played By The Baltimore Orioles.

Slap Hands!Now that was what I was looking for. Six home runs, a performance from Buck worthy of a 10 run lead, and a good old sodomizing of a last place team back at Fenway. The Sox came home last night to tune up for their weekend visit from the Rays with a quick two gamer against the bottom feeding Orioles. At first glance it had disaster written all over it. Two games against the worst team in the division (how depressed must everybody in the DC/Baltimore area be), coming off a weekend beating from a sub-.500 opponent and needing to win because the Rangers are playing a team of minor leaguers. But led by AL MVP Dusty Pete, at whom I pointed the finger Sunday night, the Sox treated the O’s pitching staff like they had just been caught in the woods, and the Sox were the hillbillies.   (If you are wondering about all the Deliverance references, SMC is currently paddling his way down a river in West Virginia).

Dusty Pete Hits Two. It was nice to see that the big guys are not missing mistakes, like they have so often this year. Whatever sacrifice the Orioles sent out there last night (I seriously don’t remember his name and I’m pretty sure he prefers it that way), was making enough of them to give up six runs on four hits in 2-2/3 innings. The unfortunate part for him was that all of the hits were home runs, two for Pedroia, his first two homer game, one for Beardzilla, and just for fun, one more for Gonzo (now hitting .289). Of course, it doesn’t help that the guy who came in to relieve him walked Bay and promptly gave up another bomb, Drew’s 20th. Ortiz added a cherry on top later with his 289th as a DH, tying him with Frank Thomas for that position’s all time record. Let’s just say that it was fun.

Lookin good.

While the offense was the most glaring bit of awesomeness about last night’s game, I’m more excited about the performance turned in by Buck, who had previously had his ass handed to him by the Orioles with a big lead a few weeks ago. Seven innings, four hits, no runs and never even a real threat. Now that is the kind of line that you want from your number two starter (yes, I said it, right now Lester and Buck are the top two, at least until the other guy remembers that he is Josh F#$%ing Beckett, the best October pitcher in baseball).

Fist Bumps and Mango Salsa for Everyone.

Fist Bumps and Mango Salsa for Everyone.

The Paul Byrd adventure gets another showing tonight, though hopefully he can do to the Orioles what he did to the Jays, and our hitters can continue their streak from last night. All indications are that it will be another night of warm up for the weekend’s quest to completely put the Rays out of the picture. Sweet.

Go Sox.

Done.

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