September 21, 2004

For The Birds. I cannot muster any bad words for Tim Wakefield. I was fairly indifferent towards him for years until his masterful pitching in last year's ALCS. Learning that he was certain he had become "another Buckner" in the eyes of Red Sox fans -- and that it terrified him -- was heartbreaking, since probably 99.7% of us held him completely blameless. I was glad to read that he soon realized that.

Aren't there also some intense locker room scenes with Wakefield in "Still, We Believe"? I recall seeing some stills on the Dirt Dogs site. I recently got the DVD, but have not watched it yet. ... The bottom line is I want Wakefield to do well and I want to win a World Series with him. He deserves it. I never thought I'd say that -- I always thought Nomar best fit the "It will feel weird to win without him" role -- but not anymore.

When I think about it, more than Pedro, more than Manny, more than Varitek or Nixon or anybody else, I want Tim Wakefield to win a World Series in a Boston Red Sox uniform.

Last night, Wakefield was looking good, having struck out 6 of the first 11 batters. Then everything went haywire. Over the next 13 batters, Wakefield allowed 5 walks, 3 singles, 1 HBP and 1 grand slam HR. ... The Sox battled back in the middle innings to trail 8-6 -- and they had the tying run at the plate a few times -- but couldn't do a damn thing with BJ Ryan or Jorge Julio.

The less said about that Melvin Mora rundown (it would have been scored 2-5-1-6-5-2-3 if successful), the better. Is Mora as bad a third baseman as he plays against Boston? He makes a throwing error, trots home thinking he's been walked in and then tries a swipe tag on Kapler in the 6th when his foot was inches from the bag (and a force play). God, he sucks.

Oh, and Manny: stop swinging at the first pitch. Eight pitches in 5 appearances -- not good. Yes, one of your hacks was a 2-run double, but please cure yourself of this recent bout of Nomaritis. Thank you.

Back on September 1, I posted a poll asking what post-season scenario you'd most like to see. Here are the results:
Of the following three scenarios, which would you prefer?

Red Sox win AL East, Yankees miss playoffs. 45% 119
Red Sox advance to ALCS, but Yankees do not. 6% 17
Red Sox and Yankees meet in ALCS. 49% 130
I was surprised that most people -- 94% -- say that if the Yankees make the playoffs, they better advance to meet the Red Sox in the ALCS. I agree.

One thing Boston's hot streak did was made me *really* want to win the division title. I admit it -- I had conceded the division to the Yankees back when Boston fell 10+ games back. I would love to leave those New York columnists sputtering at their keyboards -- I ... am ... so ... sick ... of ... them ... -- a sweep this weekend is necessary.

The Red Sox lost their third straight game, but did not lose any ground in the East. Toronto's Gustavo Chacin made his major league debut in Yankee Stadium and allowed only 4 hits in 7+ innings. (The last lefty to win his debut in the Bronx? Boston's Vaughn Eshelman on May 2, 1995.) ... The Angels crept to within 4½ games for the wild card.

Schilling/Rodrigo Lopez tonight.

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