Tag Archives: Oakland Athletics

Josh Beckett Defends His House and Adam LaRoche is Enjoying His Stay.

Nasty.

Nasty.

In his last five starts at home, Josh Beckett is 5-0 with an ERA of 1.19. Overall he is 7-0 on the mound at Fenway Park. Maybe that’s why his offense loves to come out and play for him, or maybe it’s the fact that no slump can last forever and this is a $100 million lineup.

Either way, the Sox came out ahead last night with an 8-3 win that was sorely needed. Beckett had ten Ks in seven innings, giving up three runs and also bringing his record after a Red Sox loss to 7-1, and the one loss was a 4-2 complete game in which he got absolutely no backup from his hitters. He is leading the AL with 12 wins and a 3.44 ERA. If that doesn’t smell like a Cy Young candidate you need to pull your face away from the mirror and put down the rolled up dollar bill.

In case you forgot, we're really good. Oh, and F#$% A-Rod.

In case you forgot, we're really good. Oh, and F#$% A-Rod.

As for the other side of the ball, if Adam LaRoche (not French) hasn’t proved to you yet that he is an Ideal lefty hitter for Fenway, mcuh like Wade Boggs, then you are watching the wrong game. Since being freed from the baseball abyss known as Pittsburgh, LaRoche is 5-12 with a home run and three RBI. Last night he used his inside out swing and left center power to pace the Sox with two doubles in his first two at bats, both hits glancing off the wall, much like the way that Boggs got himself to 300 hits (this is not to say that LaRoche is a Hall of Fame Caliber hitter, just that he is perfect for Fenway).

adrian-gonzalezThose doubles, along with hits from the slumping J.D. Drew and Jason Bay, a first inning bomb from Pedroia and three hits from Ellsbury at the top of the lineup, are possibly signs of the bats breaking out of their slump. Everybody out there who is freaking out that we need to trade for Victor Martinez, Adrian Gonzalez (who makes me all hot and bothered because he would be awesome, but not for everyone in the farm system), or Hank Aaron, please just remember the track record that our guys have, and that there is still a lot of baseball to be played. A 2-1/2 game deficit in July is nothing to get worried about. So chill.

We’ll be fine. Unless something isn’t done about Smoltz.

Go Sox.

Done.

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Nomah, Back to the Bean.

The day the 2004 Nomar trade went through Cubs fans were dancing in the streets and Sox fans around the world were an odd kind of puzzled. We were coming off a painful 2003 postseason and our franchise player was on his way out of town, replaced by Orlando Cabrera and a a few odds ‘n ends.

He probably did them.

He probably did them.

Our relationship with Nomar began to sour after the A-Rod talks fell through (thank god) and by the time the 2004 trade deadline came around, Tito said articulately that Nomar was “Bostoned out.” Leading up to that point however, Nomar had made repeated claims that he wanted to spend his whole career in Boston. Apparently the Brass felt otherwise.

For the majority of Nomar’s tenure, he was a hustle player. Home grown talent that came up through the Cape League, he was solid in the field, a threat at the plate but quiet in the media. Garciaparra’s media shyness was a part of his undoing. Boston fans need to connect with their players, we need to feel like everybody’s is on the same page and everybody wants to win. When the end came for Nomar, the public outcry was minimal because even after eight seasons as the Sox short gapper, we really didn’t connect with the guy.

Cue the greatest 1/2 season in Red Sox fan & team history.

Idiots.

Idiots.

Cabrera comes to town to start, Doug Mientkiewicz enters the scene as a ball-stealing defensive replacement, Keith (I remember not hating him) Foulke turns it on as one of the best closers in baseball and Manny & the Idiots slug their way to a World Series championship. The streets were covered in tears of joy… and teargas.

The 2004 Sox season ended just in time for everyone to be Patriots fans again. The year of the Dynasty. I was wondering aimlessly around my apartment last night (very long weekend) and I stumbled upon the NFL Channel’s account of the Patriot’s super bowl run and it just reminded me how awesome Boston really is.

We got Smoltz on the hill tonight and the he’ll be throwing to a couple big swinging bats, ala Giambi and Holliday… but the matchup I’m looking forward to this evening is at bat number one for the A’s 6th-hitting DH, the king of the 48 minute at bat. Stop messing with your freaking batting gloves, you’ve already screwed up every little game in the country. Thank God Dice-K isn’t toeing the rubber tonight.

So stand and ovate, or sit and boo. Nomar is probably a steroid guy and definitely slinked his way out of town… but no matter what side of the fence you’re on, it will be a hell of a game.

Go sox.

StartMattCassel

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News from the Hot Stove.

evan_longoria_80746162With four days left until the free agent signing period begins on Friday, the Hot Stove league has started to heat up. It’s awards season in the baseball world with the BBWAA (Baseball Writers Association of America) casting their ballots and for some reason being the arbiters of the historic awards that they present. Today Geovany Soto of the Cubs and Evan Longoria (Jacoby was third in the AL) picked up the awards for their respective leagues, and there is really no argument to be made against either of them.

ssnpqrftTomorrow will be the NL Cy young (probably Santana) and then the managers of the year, AL Cy and then the MVPs on Monday (NL) and Tuesday (AL). It should be interesting to see how the two Sox up for AL MVP will split the vote and who gets it. I don’t get a vote and I don’t really care as long as it is either Youk or Dusty. 

mattholliday_2007_homerun_005The big news of the day however is that ESPN is reporting that  Matt Holliday has been all but traded to Oakland. We don’t know who is going to Colorado yet, or what the exact deal is but they have agreed to terms and Holliday will be an Athletic next year. What does this mean for the Sox? This means that we wont be making that trade to fill a position that is already occupied (Baymirez). It means that before he is a free agent next year and Satan (his agent) tries to get waaaaayyy too much money for him, we in the baseball world can see what he can do without playing half of his games in Coors Field. Hell, after Bay’s contract runs out next fall Holliday might end up here anyways. But only if he puts up big numbers in Oakland. 

Two more notes of middling significance:

Those assholes in pinstripes 250 miles south of Fenway have moved the pitching rubber and home plate from old Yankee Stadium to the new one today. On hand were David Cone, Scott Brosius and Paul O’Neil, along with a group of kids from the Bronx. The old players cried as they remembered the feats that they authored on that mound and standing next to that plate. Maybe they were realizing that the Yankee Dynasty is finally over. I guess they think it will being them some of the magic that they had this year when they missed the playoffs for the first time since 1993.

2008-brad_mills2007-demarlo_haleAlso, the Mariners (whose new GM has a name that will be confusing sports reporters even more then Krzyzewski did 20 years ago: Zduriencik. I think it’s pronounced “Smith”) will be interviewing both DeMarlo Hale (our third base coach) and Brad Mills (our Bench Coach) among 5 other guys for the vacant managerial position in the SafeCo home dugout. I want them to get the shot they deserve for the terrific job they have done here but I don’t want to see either DeMarlo or Millsie go. Good luck gentlemen, they couldn’t choose better guys.

ESPN has also posted a Winter Forecast for our home town nine. Nothing we didn’t know, but good info anyways. 

100 Days. 

Done.

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