Tag Archives: Toronto Blue Jays

Dale Scott Really Needed To Poop Yesterday Afternoon.

Quote of the day. David Ortiz, when asked why he didn’t watch a replay of his last at bat: “I don’t have to,’’ he said. “Thank God I wasn’t hitting righthanded because that would have hit me in the ribs.’’

The best part about that quote? He’s right. Not to down play the outing by Shawn Marcum, who is actually pretty good (especially against the Sox) but Dale Scott and his overwhelming desire to leave Boston (or get a snack, or poop, or play Call of Duty) was the reason that the Red Sox lost yesterday. After Marcum stymied them for seven innings and some nameless guy out of the bullpen shut them down in the eighth, the Red Sox finally had something going against Blue Jays closer Kevin Gregg.

The only problem with that was that it didn’t mesh with home plate umpire Dale Scott’s schedule. He had been calling a wide strike zone all day (just ask J.D. Drew, who struck out looking twice on pitches that were in another zipcode) and in the ninth it really got embarrassing.

This is a plot of the pitches that Dale Scott called for balls and strikes in the game yesterday. The red triangles are strikes thrown by Blue Jays pitchers, the squares were thrown by the Sox. Notice anything suspicious? Click to embiggen.

The Sox scored two in the ninth, around all of the bad calls, which were highlighted by the called third strike to which Otriz was alluding. Of course, Tito, all hopped up on Bigelow green tea, came out to give the ump a piece of his mind, but unlike normal, neither he nor Ortiz were tossed for arguing balls and strikes. If that doesn’t scream that the ump knew he missed the call to you I don’t know what does. Even after that, Scott called a strike on a check swing that Beltre clearly held up, and refused to get help from the first base ump. Tito finally got tossed for that one.

I’m not one to bitch about bad calls (o.k. maybe I am), but this one was a real stomach punch. The Sox very well could have won this game (or at least tied it) with a stirring comeback in the ninth, but for some horrible calls on pitches that were well out of the strike zone. The team is getting closer to where they should be, Ortiz is hitting .310 in May (.200 over all), Drew has brought himself back to respectability, and both the fifth and sixth starters gave us good performances over the last two days. This should be a rallying point, because the Sox should be back in third place. Eff Dale Scott.

(And I’m not going to mention Daisuke’s seven inning, 0 walk, 9 K performance the other night because every time I get excited about him he starts to suck again and remind me of why we’ve been complaining about him for the past three years. Just like the Bruins, who are done like dinner.)

Go Sox.

Done.

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One More Roll of the Dice.

If he can touch his tongue to his nose you know he'll have a good start.

No words. Just prayers. Keep it going.

Go Sox.

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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Paul Byrd Helps Red Sox Sweep Jays: Have You Heard?

Paul Byrd goes six, Sox beat Blue Jays 7-0. And this is a PSA:

Or, if you prefer the classics, ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Pee Wee Herman:

Enjoy your Sunday.

Go Sox.

Done.

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It’s Always Nice to End a Road Trip with a Firm Bitch Slap.

Fist Bumps for the SoxRemember in May, when the Blue Jays actually thought that the whole “Halladay and four rookies” rotation thing was going to work? Neither do I, because now the Blue Jays have devolved into the AL East’s version of the Sea Shepherds (impotent idealists who suck at what they attempt to do, especially after the last episode) and the Sox just left them bruised and beaten in their own house. Last night was just the icing on the cake.

Remember to breathe J.D., show us that you are not an evil Android sent to prepare us for the invasion.

Remember to breathe J.D., show us that you are not an evil Android sent to prepare us for the invasion.

First, it was vintage Lester from the fourth batter on, when he got Rod Barajas to ground into a DP , trading a run for two outs, and then setting down fourteen of the next fifteen in order. He went eight, saving the bullpen for the apokalypse that is about to descend on Fenway this weekend, and dominating in a way that has every other team in the AL hoping that the Sox don’t make the playoffs. In a short series the combination of Beckett (A.K.A. The Greatest October Pitcher in the Universe), Lester (A.K.A. He Who Shall Not Be Doubted) and either a newly confident Buchholz (A.K.A. The Guy You’d Give Your Left Nut To Be For One Night) or Wakefield/Daisuke/Junichi is the kind of thing that causes the Steinbrenners to keep a guillotine in their office for Girardi and Cahsman.

So Good.

So Good.

Second, the bats keep pounding and even J.D. “The Emotionless One” Drew got into the act, hitting two bombs and going 4-4 in a late season attempt to earn his $14 Million and prove that he has a pulse (I’m fine with him only starting to hit now as long as last night was the start of hotness and not just a spark that doesn’t catch). Victor continued to prove that he is worth keeping around, hitting another one out and guaranteeing that unless Beckett makes a specific request, Tek’s “Stiff Neck” will to bother him throughout the weekend. And if you don’t think Alex Gonzalez is happy to be back in Boston, look at the fact that he is hitting fifty points better here than he did in Cinci (and he’s the best defensive shortstop the Sox have had in my lifetime).

It seems to be all coming together just in time for the end of the world this weekend (and the return of Jerry Remy to the NESN booth), and a hot end to August would do plenty to reassure the faithful that we’ll get a chance to throw out that truly terrifying rotation in October (terrifying to other people, not to me, like the thought of Brad Penny starting tonight).

Just for fun:

Go Sox.

Done.

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Josh Beckett Proves My Point

Hes really really good.

He's really really good.

I’ve been saying it since November, an last night was my proof. Jason Varitek is the straw that stirs the drink that is Josh Beckett and Jon Lester, A.K.A. the Boston Red Sox starting rotation. At about four o’clock, just after he had eaten his afternoon live cow, and then ritually burned the amount of strikeouts he was planning to put down on the Jays into Gary Tanguay’s ass, Beckett was shocked out of his OCD routine by the fact that his catcher had neck spasms. For most pitchers this is no big deal. For Josh Beckett, who depends more on routine than the parents of autistic kids to make everything work, this was a catastrophe. John Farrel had already had to leave the club to deal with a family emergency in Cleveland (we send our best wishes and hope all is well), which took out one third of Beckett’s normal pre game meeting, and now he is throwing to an unfamiliar catcher. What happens? Beckett steps onto the mound at skydome and channels John Smoltz (circa 2009, not the good one), giving up seven runs in five and a third.

The Captain.

The Captain.

This is not to say that there is anything wrong with Victor Martinez as a catcher. As Beckett himself said, the guy has caught the past two Cy Young winners, so he knows what he is doing, but he is not Jason “I know these hitters better than their own wives” Varitek. Martinez had not caught even one pitch from Beckett before last nights game, and so didn’t have the same knowledge of Beckett’s stuff, but more importantly he didn’t know what Beckett would want to throw.

The past three plus years of working together, plus the fact that Beckett is such a creature of routine, has made Varitek indispensable to him. Lester also feels the same way, having said while ‘Tek was a free agent last winter that his amazing growth last season was partially due to the captain’s tutelage.  If you look at the three worst starts of Beckett’s season, Georgie and Victor caught two of them, both on nights when his routine was disrupted. Jason Varitek is what makes our two best pitchers work, and it’s just too bad that Papelbon is too much of a closer to learn anything from him.

(I’m actually suggesting that we start to use the terms “such a closer” for people who are so empty headed that they act, well, like Papelbon does.)

Theyre vitamins and mangos, mang.

They're vitamins and mangos, mang.

That said it was nice to see the bats come alive, and I’m starting to like the rotting corpse of David Ortiz when he hits in the seven spot. It lengthens the lineup, and since June 6th he has more home runs than anyone in baseball other than Kendry Morales. Bay has four bombs in the past ten games and with Youk back in the lineup we might actually become dangerous again.

Espescially with Dylan Pedroia handling the shortstop duties.

Go Sox.

Done.

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Go Pedroia

FIRST BORN

FIRST BORN

First of all, that double Ortiz just hit in the 2nd? The two RBI one… that was me reverse cheering him to victory.

In addition, congratulations to the Pedroias who welcome their first born, a healthy 7 pound boy, only slightly larger than his father. Dylan will be playing shortstop for the Sox tomorrow night.

This would be good news if it weren’t for the fact that Nick Green just struck out looking stupid with no out and a man on 2nd and 3rd.

Mozel Tov,

The Ballpark

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