Tag Archives: Detroit tigers

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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Just F#$%ing Cheer Johnny Damon Already.

The main picture is The Man, in the corner is some douche from New York.

Four years ago, Johnny Damon left us. Our long haired, bearded centerfielder had been a lighting rod for Red Sox fans and pink hats alike. He coined the name “Idiots” for the 2004 club and pulled a lot of heads out of the oven with his second inning grand slam against the Yanks in Game 7 of the 2004 ALCS (If you try to tell me that you didn’t think that the three wins were building up to yet another letdown right up until the ball left Damon’s bat off of my boy Javy Vasquez, you are a liar). He was one of the 25, the guys that broke the curse and still make me smile today when I think about it.

He also Took This With Him.

The problem wasn’t that he left, it was where he went. If he had, after the 2005 season, gone to San Francisco or Chicago, he would never have been able to buy a drink and been cheered so loudly on his return that the game would have been too long for Bill Simmons to watch. But no, after lying to the Sox about the kind of offers he was getting, Damon signed with the Pinstriped Assholes, the worst thing he could have done.

When he returned in 2006, with the Yanks, people (from Gammons to Ken Rosenthal) were all telling us to cheer him, ignore the betrayal, and cheer him like he probably deserved, but at that point the wound was too fresh and that was like asking us to shake hands with the guy who had just cut off our left arm. So we booed Damon for four years as we watched him do all of the things for the Yankees that he had done here: hit, hustle, play decent defense, and throw badly. Johnny Damon was never a bad guy, and he never badmouthed the fans of Boston. He just signed with the Yankees, and that was enough for us. (The Publick House in Brookline even made bumper stickers that said “Fuck Johnny Damon”)

Tonight, however, is an entirely different story. Johnny Damon is returning to Boston as a member of the Detroit Tigers. He will be hitting third and playing left field. This winter, when the Yanks refused to resign him, Damon signed a one year $8million deal. Some, who shall remain nameless, were even stumping for him to be brought back to the Sox, (I know that I suggested he could play first, but tell me you wouldn’t rather see Damon out there with his noodle arm and .281 batting average) but the cries went unanswered and we were left with Mike Cameron, Jeremy Hermida, Eric Patterson, Bill Hall et. al. (I’m not lumping Darnell or little Danny Nava in with that group because they have out performed all expectations).

It’s time to cheer for Damon. I may, in fact, stand and clap at whatever restaurant I’m eating dinner in when he comes to bat. Johnny deserves it. He was the heart and soul of a team that was often duct taped together with little else and still won us a World Series in the best way possible. It’s time he got his due.

Go Sox.

Done.

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Twins Vs Tigers: Turns Out I Really Do Live For This.

Every season starts to drag around August and you start to forget. Then it ramps up again for a week or so in september when we aren’t really sure that the Sox are going to make it, but at a certain point many of the games turn into late March Spring Training games. But then there are sometimes “Regular Season” games that remind you what this is all about.

Last night’s tiebreaker in the AL Central was one of those games. It had everything playoff sports are supposed to: Drama, redemption, villains, people from Detroit getting crushed in the worst possible way, and Craig Sager’s hideous sportcoats (the purple was a nice hint to the fact that he probably joined Gruden and Jaws in blowing Brett Favre after the game Monday night). While I love baseball, and can usually watch any playoff game that is on, last night’s game didn’t really draw my attention until I could see that it was going to be close late. I sat down to watch (as opposed to just following it on the internet) right before Magglio tied the game with a frozen rope into the left field bleachers, and I was hooked.

No high fives for Rayburn last night.

No high fives for Rayburn last night.

The best part of the whole game for me was the emotional cement mixer that Ryan Rayburn must have gone through in the 10th. After he crapped the bed by misplaying a single into a triple on the first batter of the inning, he had to sit through four more batters as he watched his screwup turn a likely victory back into a tie game. Then, just when it looked like his team was screwed and all the fans were going to get for excitement was going to be the thrilling walk off sac fly, Rayburn nailed Alexi Casilla to complete the double play and keep the game going (had Casilla just stood on the bag and waited for the catch he would have scored, but he moved down the line as if he wasn’t going to be able to score on a single, and then had to go back).

Of course, Rayburn took a kick to the junk when Casilla hit a game winning single in the bottom of the 12th, making his botched play in left one of the primary reasons that he was going home instead of to the playoffs. The fact that the Tigers couldn’t score with the bases loaded and one out in the 12th, or a man on third with no outs in the 9th was just adding insult to injury. When Gomez crossed the plate with the winning run, I could almost feel sorry for the city of Detroit, but then I realized it was Detroit.

Seriously. Look at the dude on the left.

Seriously. Look at the dude on the left.

(In case you are wondering why I hate Detroit so much, there are two reasons. One is that the biggest douche I have ever met was from Detroit, and the other is that after spending a summer in Italy, I missed my connecting flight home from Amsterdam and was forced to fly 16 hours to that fair city. This sucked because their other option was to let me stay in Amsterdam for a night, which was fine with me, and because they stuck me in the middle of a row with two sixteen year old idiot girls who kept pronouncing the name of their city in french on either side of me. They refused to allow me to switch to an end so that they didn’t have to talk over me, and the only movies that were shown featured Kevin Costner in a film that was not about baseball, and Britney Spears in a film that was not a sex tape. The flight attendants had to cut me off half way over the Atlantic. That is why I hate Detroit.)

Tell me this isn't better than "Beyond Baseball"

Tell me this isn't better than "Beyond Baseball"

It was a great game, which reminded me that I really do live for this month, off days and all. The festivities begin with a warm up slate today starting at 2:30 on TBS. It’s not beyond baseball (the lamest marketing slogan since the Oakland Raiders and their “I Will” campaign (leading to plenty of I will suck, I will fumble and I will give up jokes amidst others not appropriate for a f#$%ing family website like this one). What exactly was wrong with “I Live for This?” It’s true, the game is at it’s best and there is more drama in this month than any regular season month ever.

On a happy note, does anyone else find hope in the fact that Jorge is already pissed that his pitchers think he sucks? I guess the Yankee clubhouse isn’t all hugs and kisses. Oh, and Sabathia sucks in the playoffs.

Go Sox.

Done.

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Anyone Else Already Having Withdrawal Symptoms?

amy winehouseOver the past two weeks, my productivity has gone up about 7000% at work, I’ve discovered that I am engaged, and somebody clued me in to the fact that I missed an entire season of Entourage (After last season’s crap fest, I can’t decide if it is a good thing or a bad thing). This is what happens to me when I can’t watch a Red Sox game that actually matters. And now, even though it isn’t official until after the one game playoff tomorrow night, it has been pretty much confirmed that the Sox don’t start up again until thursday night at 9:37 PM. I don’t know if I can make it three more long, cold nights.

Just happy to be here.

Just happy to be here.

One way that I will occupy myself is watching the play-in game between the Twins and Tigers tomorrow night at five. It should be fun because neither team has a chance to even touch the Pinstriped Assholes in the ALDS so they are playing just to be on the national stage (it’s actually kind of like the NCAA Tourney’s tuesday game, but with higher paid players). I’m looking for Minnesota to win it because everybody thought they couldn’t and they are 7-2 against the Tigers at home this season. Either way, they both look to be little more than a speed bump on the Yanks path to getting beat by the Sox.

I don't blame the NFL for protecting quarterbacks, this man killed a guy.

I don't blame the NFL for protecting quarterbacks, this man killed a guy.

I usually leave the Football talk on Monday up to SMC, but I have to comment on what Ray “there were horses, and a man on fire, and I killed a guy with a trident” Lewis had to say about the roughing the passer penalties. He’s absolutely right. Isn’t hitting part of football? If a defensive lineman hits a QB shouldn’t he be able to punish the guy? And if he makes a perfectly legal hit, which is not leading with the helmet, but just happens to touch the QB’s helmet on the way down, why is that the same call as if he had speared the guy? I can’t wait to explain to my kids some day that Quarterbacks used to actually stand on the field and play the game instead of just operating robots from the sideline. (oh, and did anyone else see Brady’s imitation of a Montreal Canadien when he called for the flag as Suggs brushed his good knee? I thought that flopping was only a part of what they call football in Europe)

And I love watching Lucic fight. He doesn’t even have to win by a wide margin, but the other guy always ends up as a bloody mess.

Three More Days. We can make it.

Go Sox.

Done.

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Ahhh, RemDawg, We Didn’t Know How Much We Missed You.

More Awesomeness than Eck's 'Stache.

More Awesomeness than Eck's 'Stache.

As the Detroit Tigers have learned, You don’t F#$% with RemDawg mojo.

There was a moment when I thought there had been a rain delay between innings, because I heard the dulcet tones of  Jerry Remy’s voice spilling out of my TV, but then I realized that the dream was real as he was back in the both, albeit just for one night. Remy told the fans about how much he loved getting all of the cards and well wishes, even the ones from Yankees fans (which I would have ended up using in some inappropriate way, but that is why Remy is a better man than I), and even trying to call the game while Orsillo was busy fawning over him and dreaming of the day that he doesn’t have to deal with Eck’s hair overshadowing him in the booth.Nasty At that point I knew it was all over, because though Remy has been able to watch the Fox and ESPN games (he said that watching Don struggle through the endless cavalcade of analysts without him was too painful), everybody in the park knew that the Sox weren’t going to lose with the man in the park.

Sure, Josh Beckett was on the mound and he is money at Fenway, 8-0 with a 2.58 ERA, two complete games and a .199 BA against., but it was RemDawg’s return in what he called a ‘simulated game” that made this one special, even with Beckett getting his league leading 14th victory.

Lowell Is ClassyAs for the game, Mike Lowell continues to prove that he should be in the lineup once Youk gets back, with the Beard at first and Martinez switching between catcher and DH (anyone who says that Varitek/Ortiz are going to provide us with better at bats is crazier than a monkey on crack). Lowell hit his third home run in the last two nights, and continues to hit .303 (including .400 for August and .324 at Fenway) and has been showing that he deserves a spot in the lineup more than the Ortiz/Varitek monster which is hitting a combined .221.

Today we’ve got a full schedule as Buchholz takes on Verlander at 1:35, The Pats unveil the new Cyborg Tom Brady in the preseason opener, and my favorite back to school event begins in Williamsport, PA. That’s right, it’s the Little league World Series, the best exposition of pure baseball in the world, begins on ESPN2 with the regional finals for the South West. The kids are in it for their love of the game and the chance to stand up wherever they go and say” I’m the best in the world.” I’ve got a twelve pack of beer, a 1/4 pound Hebrew National hotdog and nothing to do.

Go Sox.

Done.

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Junichi Tazawa Does Not Fear a Rampaging Youkzilla.

Not a Nice Hug.

Not a Nice Hug.

Apparently Kevin Youkilis has been reading the notes that I’ve ben giving him on this site. I’ve been saying for weeks that this year’s Sox club needed a fight to get themselves riled up for the stretch run, and last night, after having traded plunkings for the second night in a row, Youk decided to make people think twice about hitting the Beard.

Lowell is pumped.After Sox starter Junichi Tazawa, making his first major league start, had hit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera (who apparently couldn’t take the boo-boo and came out of the game later) in the hand in the first inning, Rick Porcello hit Youkilis in the middle of the back for the second time  in two nights. Well, Youk didn’t like this, and charged the mound, evading the Tigers new first baseman and tackling Porcello as the crowd coming from both benches covered them. Both guys were booted from the game (suspensions likely to follow).

There can be only one Highlander.

There can be only one Highlander.

This was needed for so many reasons. Sure, Youk missed the rest of this game, which  was O.K. because the guy who pinch ran for him (probably the last time Mike Lowell will ever pinch run) hit two home runs, and will likely miss at least three more, but the guys loved it, they got fired up and let some of their tensions boil out, as evidenced by seeing the normally placid Tito getting in the face of a guy who he has expressed a great respect for in the past, Tiger’s Manager Jim Leyland.

Already down 3-0, the Sox obviously got a charge out of the fight. Papi, the Next batter, was singled off the replacement pitcher, Chris Lambert (not the guy from Highlander), and then Jason Bay dominated him over the Green Monster seats. Game tied. The Two shots by Lowell (who has displayed nothing but class and professionalism in the situation where he isn’t playing as much as he deserves, and is also smoking hot) helped salt away the first Major League win for Tazawa, and the Sox gained another game in the standings on both Texas and Tampa, who lost.

This is one Japanese guy who doesn't run from giant bearded lizards.

This is one Japanese guy who doesn't run from giant bearded lizards.

Tazawa, to his credit, took everything going on around him in stride and pitched very well. He gave up one earned run (three total thanks to another error by Nick Green that didn’t end up mattering), in five innings, throwing 98 pitches and striking out six while giving up four hits. He had everything working and only came out after the fifth because of  his high pitch count brought on by the long first inning.

Junichi’s quality pitching against a good team and Brad Penny’s last night continues to build confidence in the back end of the Sox rotation. That is three well pitched starts in a row against some of the top competition in the American League. With Wakefield set for a rehab start in Pawtucket on Friday and Daisuke throwing off a mound for the first time the other day, things are looking up for the rotation, and therefor for the bullpen as well.

And if all else fails, Youk can eat a rookie pitcher for a late night snack, again.

Go Sox.

Done.

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Brad Penny Might have Puked, But He Still Likes the Home Cookin’ at Fenway.

Jacoby's excited.

Jacoby's excited.

You can win a World Series with Nick Green at Shortstop, especially when he hits the ball this hard.

You can win a World Series with Nick Green at shortstop, especially when he hits the ball this far.

Take your head out of the oven, slowly lift your toe off the trigger and look around. Did the world come to an end? Are you going to let them win now? Sure, the Sox lost their last six to the heart of their divisional rivals, but  last night they came back and stuck it to another division leader while the Yanks lost one to those pesky Blue Jays (the Sea Shepherds of the AL East).

While the entire region was on suicide watch yesterday, today things are looking decidedly up. The Sox banged out 12 hits (roughly half as many as they had in the entire Yanks series), scored six times, and got a quality start out of Brad Penny (who threw up before the sixth due to bad clams/acid reflux). They scored early, on Pedroia’s first inning two run homer, and late on Nick Green’s seventh inning sac fly. They got productive outs, every member of the starting lineup, other than Victor who hit the ball hard three times, had at least one hit, and Jacoby crept closer to Tommy Harper’s club record 54 stolen bases (Ells has 51).

He Really did Puke before the Sixth, but I think it was from eating too much Awesomeness.

He Really did Puke before the Sixth, but I think it was from eating too much Awesomeness.

The key thing that nobody has seemed to notice with the debacle that was the past week at the plate is the starting pitching. Everybody was talking about how they were so worried about the starting pitching past Lester and Beckett, but then Buchholz put up a quality start (2 R over 6 IP) against Fat Ass on Saturday afternoon (which was ignored because of the fact that the Sox couldn’t score, but apparently someone took Lou’s advice and told him to relax), and Penny looked good last night against another first place team (even if being in first place in the AL Central is like being the smartest guy in the LA Clippers’ front office). The pitching, as bad as it looked last week, is only getting better. Plus, Daisuke and Wake are on the mend, and Junichi (who I want to put his first name on his jersey ala Ichiro) is going to take the ball for the first time as a starter tonight. Good things are coming.

Let’s all back away from the edge, take a deep breath and remember that the Sox still have six games in hand against the Yanks, and an 8-4 lead in the season series. The Yanks won’t win them all and each win for the Sox is a step closer to the playoffs.

Go Sox.

Done.

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