Not Ready For Prime Time Players? According to Charles Steinberg, the Red Sox executive vice president for public affairs, MLB has said Game 1 might begin at 10:00 EST, not 4:00 (8:00 has also been mentioned). Why wouldn't MLB want Pedro-Hudson in prime time?
"If Pedro wants to pitch [Game 4], he will. It's as simple as that." However, Martinez has never pitched on three days rest in his six years in Boston. ... In September: 4-0, 0.82. Pedro allowed two earned runs or fewer in 19 games where he pitched 6+ innings. His road ERA was 1.57 and he lost only twice in his final 21 starts. ... Little on Pedro: "The only conversation I've had with [Martinez] is that he wants to pitch Game 1, Game 2 and Game 3 and then play the Yankees."
The Red Sox are now considering a 10-man pitching staff for the ALDS. I hope they do it. My roster:
Starters: Pedro, Lowe, Wakefield, Burkett.
Bullpen: Embree, Kim, Timlin, Williamson, Arroyo, Jones.
Lineup: Ortiz, Varitek, Millar, Walker, Nomar, Mueller, Ramirez, Damon, Kapler.
Bench: Mirabelli, Nixon, Jackson, Merloni, McCarty, Brown.
I doubt we'll be able to infer anything from his usage this weekend, but I have a sinking feeling Grady may take Sauerbeck and/or Suppan (or even Lyon) over Arroyo and/or Jones. (Taking Suppan over Jones wouldn't bother me.) ... I really hope Sauerbeck watches from home, because (a) he wouldn't be used for anything more than one or two LH batters and (b) he's been pitching like shit. The bench is nothing special, but Brown and Jackson can steal a base. Merloni will be the team's 3rd catcher. ... Also: Varitek will catch Wakefield on Sunday, but Mirabelli will be his catcher in the postseason. However, if Wakefield pitches in relief late in the series, Varitek would catch (presumably because he'd already be in the game). The "personal catcher" stuff drives me bats, but as someone pointed out, Mirabelli will likely get only 2 AB in any game, because Varitek should be ready to PH from about the 6th inning. Of course, if getting Varitek's bat up there in a crucial spot is so important, why isn't he playing the whole game? ... I hope Theo's suggestions to Grady next week are conveyed more forcefully than they seemed to be during the season (judging from Gump's actions). A five-game series is no time to wait and see if a starter can get himself out of trouble, to play someone (or not replace someone) in order to boost his confidence, or to manage with a we'll-get-'em-tomorrow mindset. ... El Guapo's Ghost put it best: "Five days until the Sox play another meaningful game. Well, I have five days to get my prescriptions filled."
Kevin Millar on "too much celebrating": "What I want to know is who wrote the script? Who wrote the script for celebrations? What is it? Clinch wild card, no beers? Clinch Division Series, 4 to 9 beers? Clinch LCS, 6 to 9 beers? Win World Series? No limit? I never had more fun in my life, running down Yawkey Way in my spikes with Derek and Todd and heading into that tavern with a couple of thousand people behind us chanting, 'Bring On Oakland!' We were there 10 minutes. I wish we could have stayed four hours. And we might have, if we didn't have a bus and a plane to catch." ... One person said Millar jumped behind the bar and started handing out bottles of beer, stopping to shake a few up and spray them at patrons.
Ben Jacobs reads my mind: "If you're pissed off that the Red Sox and their fans were celebrating so much, that says more about you and your inability to enjoy the steps along the way than it does about the celebrators. I went through more highs and lows this year than I can even remember, but I never lost faith in the Red Sox. I never thought that they wouldn't reach October. And once my faith, and the faith of all Red Sox fans, was finally rewarded, you're telling me that these highly charismatic Red Sox aren't allowed to revel in our love for them and thank us for being there all year? Gimme a break."
BlogWatch: Paul reminds us how great Pedro, Manny and Nomar have been this season ... Red Sox Rag suggests leaving Burkett off the ALDS roster.
Update: The Cubs have clinched the NL Central by sweeping Pittsburgh 4-2 and 7-2, while Milwaukee beat Houston 5-2.