Tag Archives: Tim Wakefield

Wake Up On Top of the Mountain

Just another reason he's the man.

The Celtics are not going to win and last night’s Sox game was about as exciting as selling insurance. They won at least, further distancing themselves from the Jays and staying close to the pinstriped assholes and Trampa.

The big news? Our Elder Statesman has finally surpassed Roger “pincushion” Clemens in Innings pitched in a Red Sox uniform. With 2777 innings (awesome number) Wake has now thrown more innings in a Boston Red Sox uniform than anyone in history. And it fits him.

Wake has been with the club since 1995, when Dan Duquette caught what the Pirates (when they were still recently good)  tossed out. He went 14-1 in the first half that year, and was in the discussion for the Cy Young award. He has done it all here, from starting to closing, and done it well. He is now 16 wins short of surpassing both Clemens and Cy Young for the all time lead, and he has two rings.

He was also the man on the mound in one of the most crushing moments of my life. Aaron F@#$ing Boone and his steroid induced homer (his brother did it). If it had been anyone else, anyone, they would not have been here the next spring. We could never have looked at anyone else the same after, but with Tim-Timmuh it was just another chapter.

Tim was also on the mound for one of the best moments, Game One of the Series one year later.

So lets celebrate Tim Wakefield for all he has done for us, including that time when he used rich Garces to plug up a cannon and stopped the alien invasion.

Oh, and Schilling was right. Strasburg is that good.

Go Sox.

Done.

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They Should Make T-Shirts That Say “I Survived Bizzarro Weekend.”

First Daisuke freaking Matsuzaka comes within 5 outs of a No-Hitter against the “NL team with an AL lineup,” then Timmmmmmmay Wakefield, recently restored from the bullpen, dazzles that same lineup for eight innings, and then Lost ends. This was one clusterfuck of a weekend.

First of all, as much as SMC and the others I was with want to blame it on me, I have confirmed that more than one person who was watching the Red Sox game on Saturday night uttered the words “No-Hitter” before Juan Castro’s hit dropped with two outs in the eighth. So it wasn’t just me and that makes me feel slightly better. Otherwise the most important thing to take from the game is that we really have no effing clue how good or bad Daisuke Matsuzaka can be this season or beyond. He has been a shutdown ace twice this season and otherwise been a tremendous failure. The way that the defense, other than Scutaro, came together behind the Wiggler was also encouraging.

Hustler. In all senses of the word.

Of course, the Celtics game was also entertaining, as they went up 3-0 in an absolute destruction of everything that the Magic hold dear. I am both excited that Stan Van Gundy is going to be able to go back to his thriving Porn career, crying, and terrified that the Celtics are going to joint the Bruins as teams that have pulled a Yankee (and if you think I’m not happy to be able to use the term “pulling a Yankee” as something negative, you have not been reading very carefully). It was incredible and Rondo’s play on the floor has to go down as one of the ultimate hustle plays in postseason history. The Lakers should legit fear KG because they are holding his trophy.

Making them regret it.

The best part of the weekend, other than the Lost finale, which I loved and understood completely (this is where I imply that those who didn’t get it or are angry about it are either not smart or were just looking for things to complain about), was Tim Wakefield basically throwing a big middle finger at Theo, Tito and company for his move to the bullpen while his teammates made Roy Halladay (still can win 30 games in the NL) look like Charlie Zink. That makes four out of five games with the Sox starter going eight, which is what we expected to see all the time when the season started.

The Sox are three games above .500 for the first time all season, their hitters are hot (I think Youk might never get out again) and most of the pitching staff looks unhittable. Not a bat time to go visit the 32-12 (on pace to win 118 games) Trampa Bay Rays, who could stand to be taken down a notch. 7:10.

Go Sox.

Done.

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Darnell McDonald is My Homeboy.

Spark.

Even Theo was willing to admit before yesterday’s game that the Sox had been playing piss poor baseball so far this season. They had been making errors, failing in the clutch and pretty much doing all of the things that we hoped would not happen in this new era of “run prevention.” They needed something, a spark, a goddamn win, anything to make them enjoy playing baseball for ridiculous amounts of money again.

That spark came last night, with me in the ballpark for the first time all season (you’re welcome), from a 31-year-old, journeyman minor leaguer named Darnell McDonald. I am proud to say that I was one of the few people in Fenway who did not say “Who the f#$% is Darnell McDonald?” when he was announced at bat in the eighth, but I never thought in a million years that this least heralded of our minor leaguers (who was a former first round draft pick) would be the hero.

After Varitek doubled (he’s hitting .429 with three homers for those who are counting), McDonald came up as a pinch hitter for Josh Reddick, with whom he had been called up earlier in the day to replace Cameron and Ellsbury who had gone on the DL, and promptly launched one up into the monster seats to tie the game. His walk off single (which would have been a double had the game not ended) an inning later was just Icing on the cake.

Keep it up.

It was a spark, and a great win, but there were some warts on this one. Wake was just plain bad, giving up six runs in six innings, and Ron Washington must have been a little extra coked up because the Rangers were running like they had to get their stash away from the cops. Nine stolen bases, a Rangers team record, were given up. People are running at will on the Sox, and this is going to be a real problem if the Sox aren’t hitting.

Speaking of not hitting, I am not going to complain about David Ortiz any more. He has at least had a few hits that looked like he knew what he was doing, but this Drew guy who Theo keeps defending has simply sucked. He’s hitting .134 and has no extra base hits. Even in the best of times, Drew shows no emotion on the field, and the way he plays it looks effortless. In times like this it looks to most of us that he doesn’t give a crap that he is awful. With him hitting in the two-hole (hey-o), the guys who are hitting (that doesn’t include Youk, who is currently at .240) don’t have anyone to drive in, and the whole offense looks even more anemic.

Last night was not a cure all for the Sox, no matter how dramatic and exciting it was. It was a spark, one that we can only hope caries into tonight and starts a nice little streak. Just get us back to .500 for the year.

Go Sox.

Done.

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If The Red Sox Don’t Look Good Against The Royals This Weekend, I’ll Want Manny Delcarmen’s Head on a Spit.

You blow the game, and I'll drink beer out of your empty head.

They usually suck in K.C., but this is a new season and Timmmmmmmay is on the mound looking to move a step closer to officially being the man, in a historical sense. Meanwhile, the Sox need to show that they will spend the balance of the season kicking the crap out of the bottom half of the A.L. so that we can keep pace with those teams that should (and I say should because nothing is for sure) be getting in the way, like New York, LAAAAAAAA, Seattle, Minnesota, Detroit and Chicago. A series win here in K.C., where they are 6-7 in the past four years, would do a lot to bolster the confidence of a fan base which seems to be pressing the panic button daily (even though we all know that the team will win 95 games). Of course, if the bullpen (one of the supposed strengths of this team) were to blow another one, I’ll be calling to have a Manny Delcarmen Skull Keg Party (because it’s obviously his fault).

Remember to be happy that you aren’t a Pirates Fan.

Go Sox.

Done.

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Matsuzaka Pitches Two Innings, Suffers No New Injuries……..Yet.

This is a real picture of Daisuke Mastuzaka pitching to Major League Hitters.

I swear to Vishnu that there was a ghost on the mound at City of Palms park yesterday. It looked like Daisuke Matsuzaka, but I was pretty sure he died last spring when he refused to admit that he had suffered a severed head and collapsed five innings and 7000 pitches after suffering the injury. Either way, the 18 game winner from 2008 has not been seen since and whatever that was on the mound yesterday was not the guy that the Red Sox paid $102 million for after the 2006 season. Was it?

Daisuke made his spring debut yesterday, three weeks late, and threw two innings, giving up a run on two hits. He did not tell the team (as far as we know) about any further maladies beyond the neck and back which have kept him off the mound this season. This is becoming a running joke about Matsuzaka, who never panned out to be the wonder that he was supposed to when he came over, but not a good one. The Sox should have the deepest and best rotation in baseball this season, but with the questions about Dice, there is less certainty that the sixth man will be there when the team inevitably needs him due to injuries or ineffectiveness in the other five starters.

God Bless the Knuckler.

Fortunately, the Sox have Tim Wakefield pitching well to back up the three aces of Beckett, Lester and Lackey. Timmay, who turns 78 years old this year, has actually been the Sox’ most consistent pitcher this spring, leading the club in innings. They also have three days off in the first two weeks of the season (goddammit) and can go without a fifth starter until April 18. Then there is Buchholz, who made huge strides last season but hasn’t been great this spring and is a wild card in this whole situation.

Can we say that I am worried? Yeah, I’d go there, but I really have no clue what it will look like once they line up for real on Easter Sunday and play some real, meaningful baseball. There are too many questions at this point, even with Dice-K being the least of them. How is Pedroia’s wrist? Will David Ortiz spend the first two months of the season rotting next to the plate? Will the new guys hit? When does Adrian Gonzalez get here?

What I do know is that Beckett, Lester and Lackey will be there and all of them are horses. Beckett will start on the 4th and Pedroia will be in the lineup. Theo, Tito, and the brain trust at 4 Yawkey way will make something happen, as they always do, and when October rolls around I’ll be missing sleep and messing up at my job because Bud Selig Starts ballgames at the latest possible hour so that children can’t watch. That’s right. Bud Selig hates children.

At least it’s not snowing…..(getting up to go look out the window)…… Shit!

Go Sox.

Done.

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Wakefield Redux.

We Should Be Friends.

It was shorter than watching Apocalypse Now Redux, but to me Tim Wakefield’s 22 pitch outing last night gave me more info than the extra 11 hours of footage added to the original Apocalypse Now did. Six outs against seven hitters, no limping, no painful to watch attempts to field his position, most importantly no apparent back pain. This is a good sign for the Sox rotation amongst Beckett (1IP, 1R) and Lester (1IP, 4R) crapping the bed in their first starts (though Lackey did breeze through two innings today), and gives me hope that Wake is not, in fact, done, and that the surplus of starting pitching that we have this season will turn out better than it did last year.

Victor’s facility with the knuckler was also a bright spot of the 5-0 win (how quickly do you think people are going to start freaking out about that we didn’t score in the second spring training game?). Having our starting catcher out every fifth day can screw with the continuity of the team and this way Wake can also be used as a long man (heyo) in emergency situations. I’d hate to have to bring Mirabelli back with a police escort again.

Oh, right now on ESPN Classic there’s a replay of game 6 of the 2004 ALCS and I am astounded by two things. One s how bad Tim McCarver is at his job, throwing out facts like, “that’s a big pitch right there,” after a 3-1 strike from Foulke to Tony Clark, to prove that he can point out the most obvious thing in the world. The second thing is how much Joe Buck, who wanted to get that series over with like nobody’s business, was rooting for the Yankees. Every time anything happened, he would point out exactly how the Yankees were going to win, as if he was hoping for it. What a douche.

Go Sox.

Done.

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A Completely Biased, Utterly Subjective Preview of the 2010 Boston Red Sox.

So, We Gonna Do This, Or What?

With pitchers and catchers reporting TOMORROW (as well as many of the guys already in camp), it’s time that we take stock of what has happened to the Red Sox in the past few months and accept some realities.

Jason Bay is gone. He’s a Met now. The Sox let go of a guy who hit 36 home runs and had 119 RBI and replaced him with Mike Cameron. It scares the crap out of the fans, but after long contemplation it was the right thing to do. We’ve been through this before. Theo didn’t want to give Pedro Martinez the third year because his guys told him that Pedro was going to break down half way through the second year. What happened? Pedro broke down in the middle of the second year and the Mets over paid for two more seasons. Somebody saw something in the MRIs of Bay’s joints (shoulders and knees) that made them think that he isn’t going to age gracefully. I trust in Theo, because he knows more than me, and Bay strikes out too much.

With that reality comes that this team has been rebuilt in a different image. The front office took one of the teams weaknesses and turned it into a strength. Run prevention, also known as pitching and defense, has become a focus, as opposed to run scoring, which was definitely a more visible issue at times last year. The reasoning is that they don’t need to score as many runs if they don’t allow as many, and it looks good to me, but then again I thought closer by committee was a good plan too.

That thought in mind, I really do like the acquisitions. Anybody who complains about the Lackey signing (now) is a complete effing idiot. The Sox just added another Josh Beckett to the team, along with the old Beckett, who is in a contract year. That gives them three aces, a complete wildcard in Matsuzaka, a guy who is developing into a solid number 3 (for this season) in Buchholz (the fifth man), and the third winningest pitcher in franchise history as a sixth starter. Not bad.

The key to how Theo moves forward and how the offense works is likely to be Adrian Beltre. He is a guy who has put up a 48 homer, 121 RBI season, and six other seasons of 20 or more homers in his eleven seasons in the bigs. He also spent the last five of those seasons in in Safeco Field, the worst possible place for a right handed power hitter. He still hit 25 or more home runs in three years, and 19 the other. Last year was full of injuries (to the testicals) and futility. Moving into the best possible ballpark for right handed power hitters, Beltre is going to hit 30 home runs, have 100 RBI and win another gold glove, and for this reason the offense will be fine.

Scutaro and Cameron are both solid pickups who improve the defense and will provide stability in the lineup. Cameron makes the defense better not only by being himself, but by moving Jacoby to left, where nothing will get down. Scutaro  is a solid defender who should have won a gold glove last year but everybody just keeps voting for Jeter, and also had a career year in his first shot at an everyday job.

The bullpen is also better than it was at this point last season simply for the fact that Daniel Bard has been through the league once. He is not ready to replace Papelbon, who is not done, but he is ready to step into that eighth inning role that Phil Hughes was so successful in for the Yanks last year. Papelbon has been getting a lot of flack lately because of the way that the season ended, and for his perceived mercenary attitude about his contract situation, but nobody can really see it in his stats. He was 38-41 in save opportunities and had a 1.85 ERA. He is going to be a free agent after 201, but people need to chill out about that now.

And there’s also that core, who we know are going to be good and who we have gotten to know. Pedroia will put up his traditional great season, Youk will get better like he does every year, Jacoby will hit .300 and steal 75 bases, and Lester will continue to crush the souls of those who doubt him. Victor is poised for a big (payday) season and if Ortiz is the guy we had in the second half of last year then it wouldn’t be too ridiculous to see 40 bombs (he was that good for the last three months).

There are still questions to be answered, moves to be made, and lots of beer to be drank, but with the team as it is today, Theo has done a good job of building the 95 win team that is his goal every year. He has improved his team while his chief rivals have gotten worse. The Yankees offseason was not altogether awful, adding Javier Vasquez to the rotation was a good solid move (even if the last time we saw him he was giving up a GS to Damon in Game 7), and Curtis Granderson will make the outfield defense better. However, their lineup lost two gamers who always came through in the clutch in Matsui and Damon, and replaced them with Granderson, whose batting average and OPS have dropped each of the last few seasons as his home runs went up, and Nick Johnson, a good player when healthy and a rarely healthy player. That is a minus situation for them.

My prediction? 112-50. World Series Champs.

What can I say, I’m a Sox Fan.

Go Sox.

1 Day.

Done.

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