August 31, 2005

G129, 130, 131: Win, Win, Win

Monday: Red Sox 10, Devil Rays 6
Tuesday: Red Sox 7, Devil Rays 6
Wednesday: Red Sox 7, Devil Rays 6

Now in Canada and online, but swamped with things to do. Had tonight's game on in the background while I did some unexpected painting (way to go, Millar!). A lot more painting tomorrow before the movers arrive with all our stuff early Friday morning.

Thanks to everyone for their kind words. Check out wmtc for more info on The Trip.

August 29, 2005

Goodbye, New York -- Hello, Toronto!

On Tuesday, August 30, 2005 -- 6,814 days since I moved to New York City from Burlington, Vermont -- Laura and I will drive to Mississauga, Ontario.

We will have the dogs and some essentials with us, as most of our stuff was moved out last Friday. For the few days, I'll be following the Sox like they did back in the Stone Age -- reading the three-paragraph wire story (and box score) in the morning paper's sports section.

The next JoS post will come from a basement in Port Credit.


August 28, 2005

You Can't Blame Harry Frazee For Selling Babe Ruth To The Yankees

That's the title of the show being broadcast on ESPN Classic tomorrow (Monday) night at 9:00 pm. ... It's also a (mostly) true statement.

I was one of the people interviewed for the show, along with Glenn Stout (co-author of Red Sox Century), Max Frazee (Harry's great-grandson) and Harry Frazee III (Max's father, who I thought never talks about his grandfather). Hearing what he has to say should be interesting.

Unfortunately, my cable is being shut off Monday morning prior to The Big Move (very poor timing by ESPN's schedulers, I must say), so I won't get a chance to see it until ESPN sends me a copy.

Feel free to post comments here if you tune in. I should be able to read them on Wednesday or Thursday. Thanks.

G128: Red Sox 11, Tigers 3

In which the world returns to normal.

G127: Tigers 12, Red Sox 8

Worst game of the year? Probably. The Sox took a quick 6-0 lead, and lost it almost immediately. Detroit outscored the home team 12-2 over the last six innings, ending the 14-game Fenway Park winning streak. In the last three games, against the Royals and Tigers, Red Sox pitchers have allowed 28 runs.

Keith Foulke pitched 1.2 innings for Lowell (A) last night, allowing one unearned run on three hits. He threw 27 pitches, 17 for strikes, and is scheduled to pitch another inning or two today.

Edgar Renteria is hitting .464 (13-for-28) in his last seven games and has hit safely in 19 of 23 games this month. ... Hooray! Mike Remlinger was designated for assignment today. Abe Alvarez was called up from Pawtucket.

Adding insult to injury, the Yankees scored five times in the bottom of the ninth and beat the Royals Saturday afternoon, cutting the East lead to a mere 1.5 games.

Gordon Edes writes:
One final indignity for Mark Bellhorn: When the second baseman inquired about retrieving his stuff from the Fenway clubhouse, he was told he couldn't get it. The Rolling Stones were on the premises, and club officials asked Bellhorn if he could wait until after their concerts. Bellhorn went home to Phoenix. "Mick Jagger had dibs on the clubhouse," said Bellhorn's agent, Mark Rodgers. "Even though Mark hit three home runs in the postseason, he's still not Mick Jagger."

August 27, 2005

G126: Red Sox 9, Tigers 8

Kevin Millar had a rough game in left field on Thursday. Last night, he was at first base, where, on the game's third pitch, he booted Placido Polanco's grounder for an error. Polanco took second on a passed ball, third on a fly out, and scored on Ivan Rodriguez's single. Two batters later, when Dmitri Young lined a single off Tim Wakefield's leg, it looked like another long night.

Instead, the Red Sox rallied and won their 14th straight home game. It was far from a pretty win, but it kept the East lead at 2.5 games.

Boston answered with three runs in the third, highlighted by Doug Mirabelli's double to right-center, Tony Graffanino's single (Graff had three hits, a walk, three runs scored and a RBI), and a bases-loaded walk to Manny Ramirez.

After Wakefield gave it right back in the next inning (Brandon Inge and Curtis Granderson both hit two-run home runs), the Sox scored twice in the fifth -- highlighted by Ortiz's double to right -- and four times in the sixth -- Manny had a two-run double.

Detroit tried to come back -- Jeremi Gonzalez surrendered back-to-back home runs in the seventh -- but Chad Bradford and Mike Timlin held on.

Millar needs to be benched. He hits better at Fenway (where the team will be for most of the remainder of the season) than on the road, but it would be next-to-impossible not to. Millar whiffed in his first two at-bats, both on horribly bad pitches. The first time, the ball was so far outside, he wouldn't have hit it with an oar. Add in his poor fielding and there is absolutely no excuse for not giving Roberto Petagine more playing time.

A few SoSHers think that Francona will continue to bury Petagine, because if he gets a chance to prove himself, it'll become obvious that he and Olerud should make the post-season roster and Millar should not. And Tito will not allow that to happen. I don't know if I agree, but it's certainly bizarre to see Millar in the lineup more times than not and Petagine not even given a chance to pinch-hit.

The August 14 rainout against the White Sox will be replayed Monday, September 5, at 12:05 at Fenway, giving the Sox 30 games without a day off -- August 22 to September 22. Initial reports of the White Sox agreeing to forfeit the game were wrong. ... Mark Bellhorn declined an assignment to Pawtucket and was placed on waivers.

From Chris Snow's Friday notebook in the Globe:
Manny Ramirez did not give a full effort running out an inning-ending, fifth-inning grounder Wednesday night with the bases loaded. The score was 3-1 at the time, then the Royals tied it in the bottom of the inning, then won in the 11th, 4-3. When a reporter noted that Ramirez jogged down the line, Francona said, "I don't think he jogged. I don't think that's correct. I don't agree with that at all." Francona then asked, "You think he would have beat it out? I don't, either."
To my knowledge, Snow does not write a paragraph every time a Red Sox player fails to sprint down the line. From watching replays on NESN, John Olerud, Johnny Damon and Kevin Millar have also jogged to first base on groundouts in the last two games. So why doesn't Snow tell us about these malingerers also?

David Ortiz, who missed Thursday's game (running hard to first on a play similar to Manny's, according to the Herald), doesn't understand the anti-Manny faction:
[H]e hit that ball right at the shortstop. He doesn't run like Johnny Damon. I understand that if you hustle a little more, it might make people happy, but it was going to be a double play anyway. Why are people making a big deal about it? When he does something wrong, people make a big deal out of it and [when] he does something great, they don't make a big deal out of it.
Curt Schilling says he felt fine the day after allowing six runs in five innings to the Royals:
If I go out every time from here on out and feel like I did last night, I'll win more than I lose. ... I'm not sore, my ankle feels great. I haven't felt like this since last April, before I hurt my ankle. ... I know there are a lot of people that don't want to hear it, but when I look back on it, stuff-wise, that's every bit as good as I threw the ball last year from a pure physical standpoint. Every time I needed to reach back, I felt like I did and had something extra on the ball. I had all four of my pitches. ... I'm not used to feeling that good and not pitching well.
He sounds way more positive than I felt while watching him. His next start should be on Tuesday against Tampa.

Arroyo / Douglass at 7:00.

August 26, 2005

G125: Royals 7, Red Sox 4

Kansas City is dead last in the American League in runs scored, on-base percentage, batting average, and slugging percentage, but they had no problem hitting Curt Schilling last night.

The bottom of the lineup hit him with ease in the second inning -- he had neither velocity nor control -- when KC collected five hits and three runs.

The Royals' pitching staff has the worst ERA in the league, as well as the highest WHIP, highest opponents' batting average, highest opponents' on-base percentage, and second-worst slugging percentage allowed.

But Boston -- with David Ortiz and Trot Nixon getting the night off -- couldn't get anything going with their bats. Every time they tried to make it a close game, the Royals would simply tack on another run or two.

And so, the Red Sox lose two of three games to the worst team in baseball. ... The Yankees beat Toronto during the afternoon, so the East lead is a mere 2.5 games.

August 25, 2005

More "Lazy Manny" Garbage

The Dirt Dogs headline is pretty blunt: Manny Being Lazy -- complete with a NESN screen shot, scolding comments from Jerry Remy and Sean McAdam, and a Manny Gaffe Gallery.

It seems like BDD hauls out the home-to-first stopwatch only when Manny is running runs down the line. Every single Red Sox player -- indeed, every single major league player from the beginning of time -- does not sprint to first on every single ground ball. If you've watched even a few innings of baseball ever, you would know this is true.

Has BDD seen Kevin Millar going from home to first over the past few weeks? He's been running so slow -- slower even than his cement shoes usually take him -- that he's been making Manny look like Willie Freakin' Wilson. ... Of course, if you spent most of your time looking to take pot shots at Ramirez, well, you would have missed that.

Can any Red Sox fan look at this team and honestly say that Manny Ramirez is the biggest problem? One of the top three problems? Top five? Top ten?

Also: Keith Foulke now says that he will be back September 1 at the earliest. ... Lenny DiNardo, sent back to Pawtucket when trot Nixon was activated, will return when rosters expand to 40 players next month, along with Kevin Youkilis, Manny Delcarmen, Craig Hansen, and possibly Hanley Ramirez and Dustin Pedroia.

The Red Sox were named the Farm of the Year for 2005 by the Minor League News. Five Boston prospects were listed among MLN's Fab50, the most for any team: Jonathan Papelbon (11), Ramirez (16), Kelly Shoppach (20), Anibal Sanchez (37) and Pedroia (45).

Despite 1.2 innings and 34 pitches last night, Bronson Arroyo is still scheduled to start on Saturday. ... The Red Sox and Mets have discussed a deal that would bring Roberto Hernandez to Boston, but the talks have died down because the Mets are still in the wild card chase.

G124: Royals 4, Red Sox 3 (11)

You know the cliches: On any day, one team cam beat another, the best team will lose about 60 games, the worst team will win about 60, etc., etc., etc. ... But the Red Sox should not be losing extra inning games to the Royals.

Should. Not. Be.

Especially when (a) Matt Clement pitches seven decent innings, although he, like all Boston pitchers, had trouble with David DeJesus; (b) Kevin Millar hits a home run (his first road blast since September 28, 2004); and (c) Edgar Renteria has another three-hit game, reaching base four times total.

But lose they did, with Bronson Arroyo on the mound for the 10th and 11th innings. Arroyo dug his own hole with two four-pitch walks in the 11th. ... Plus, the Red Sox wasted loading the bases in the fifth, sixth, and seventh innings, scoring zero runs.

Mike Timlin has thrown 122 pitches in the past six days: 28 pitches Friday, 34 on Sunday, 34 on Tuesday, and 26 last night -- when he wriggled out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the bottom of the ninth. ... Why Terry Francona put him in for the final inning on Tuesday with a 5-0 lead is a mystery.

Curt Schilling makes his first start since April 23 tonight at 8:00. He is expected to throw about 75 pitches. Jeremi Gonzalez -- with a streak of 11.2 consecutive scoreless innings -- will be available for long relief.

August 24, 2005

G123: Red Sox 5, Royals 2

Good Things: Edgar Renteria's three hits and two runs scored; Jeremi Gonzalez's three hitless innings of relief; and the team's five doubles and one home run (out of nine total hits).

Bad Things: David Wells's high pitch count (90 in five innings: 27-17-20-12-14) and Mike Timlin pitching to seven batters in the ninth, needing 34 pitches and allowing three hits, a walk and two runs before closing out the win.

August 23, 2005

Nixon Returns To Lineup in KC

Trot Nixon is in tonight's lineup, batting fifth and playing right field in Kansas City. ... In his rehab start Monday, Nixon singled, walked and homered in five plate appearances for Pawtucket.

Kevin Millar on his loss of playing time:
We've got two guys -- one who's swinging the bat well, one who isn't. The ideal situation is if both of us were swinging well. Right now, Olerud is the guy. He was swinging the bat well before he went on the DL. He deserves to be in the lineup, period. ... I'm not some retarded guy who doesn't realize I haven't produced. ... I'll contribute somehow, some way, to help the team win when I'm in there. I might not hit any huge home runs, but I might make a big play, or pick up the guys on the bench, or pinch hit.
Millar better hope Francona doesn't start giving Roberto Petagine (who he noticeably omits from his comments) more playing time; Cabin may find himself third on the 1B depth chart. ... Which would mean a lot of free time in October.

Millar on David Ortiz's bunt: "I told the SOB he needs to bunt every time in the first inning, that'll stop that BS [shift]."

Tonight: David Wells / Zack Greinke, 8:00
Wednesday: Matt Clement / DJ Carrasco, 8:00
Thursday: Curt Schilling / Jose Lima, 8:00

August 22, 2005

Paper Trail

Looking through today's papers:

Trot Nixon was 1-for-2 with a sac fly and a walk in four PA for Pawtucket yesterday. Nixon (wearing #6) batted leadoff, singling in the first inning and scoring on Kevin Youkilis's home run. Nixon will DH Monday night and rejoin the team Tuesday in Kansas City.

Fun With Numbers: John Olerud is 6-for-14 since coming off the disabled list. ... Bill Mueller has a 15-game hitting streak (.392) and is batting .458 (11-for-24) on the current road trip. ... Kevin Millar now has the Sox's longest home run drought (182 AB). ... Johnny Damon ended his streak of getting a hit or scoring a run in 58 consecutive games. ... Edgar Renteria has hit safely in 11 of his last 13 games, batting .344 with seven doubles, nine RBI and 13 runs scored.

Millar, acknowledging the obvious: "Olerud deserves to be playing 100 percent. I haven't been able to swing the bat the way I'm capable of, and we are at a point in the season where we have to do whatever gives us the best chance to win. If my job is to come off the bench in the eighth or ninth inning to help this team, then I will." ... Cabin Mirror is 4-for-30 (.133) in his last eight games. Only 25 of his 99 hits have been for extra bases -- and on the road, the numbers are even worse: 40 of his 47 hits have been singles.

It sounds like Craig Hansen will not be called up until rosters expand on September 1. ... Curt Schilling's stats in the pen: 21 appearances, 24.1 innings, 24 hits, 14 earned runs (five home runs), a 4-3 record with nine saves in 11 chances, 4.81 ERA. Boston was 16-5 in games in which he appeared.

Herald: "David Ortiz had a good chuckle over his decision to bunt in the eighth inning. It was his first bunt since rookie ball, he said, and that was during winter league. 'I was kind of nervous when I thought about it,' said Ortiz ... Asked if he might bunt again, Ortiz smiled widely and said, 'You never know, you never know.'" ... Flo for MVP?

G122: Red Sox 5, Angels 1

Packing for the move this week, so blogging may be light.

Jonathan Papelbon pitched 5.2 shutout innings and the Red Sox could do nothing with Paul Byrd until the eighth. Bill Mueller and Tony Graffanino opened with singles, and after two ground outs, Edgar Renteria broke a scoreless tie with a three-run home run. David Ortiz followed that with a bunt single to third -- which he should do at least once or twice every single game until opposing teams stop employing that shift). Facing Brendan Donnelly, Manny Ramirez blasted his 33rd home run of the season.

Mike Myers got Papelbon out of a jam in the sixth, and Mike Timlin allowed only one walk in his two innings. Curt Schilling gave up three hits and a run in the ninth, in a tune-up before his start on Thursday.

In Chicago, Randy Johnson tied a major league record by allowing four home runs in one inning to the White Sox. The Pale Hose put 'em on the board in the fourth like this -- home run, home run, home run, single, single, home run -- and beat the Yankees 6-2.

The East lead is back to four games. Sox off tonight.

August 21, 2005

G121: Angels 4, Red Sox 2

Maybe the Red Sox thought they were facing Johan Santana. Ervin Santana had an 11.34 ERA in four previous daytime starts, but when a young pitcher faces Boston for the first time, those types of numbers are meaningless. Once again, a relative no-name shuts down the majors' top offense.

The 22-year-old rookie (who actually has pitched some pretty good games this season, that daytime stat notwithstanding) retired the first 11 batters (striking out five of the first six) and 21 of the first 23. He pitched 7.2 innings, allowing five hits and two runs (both runs and three of the hits all came in the eighth inning).

Boston's only rally came in the eighth. Kevin Millar and John Olerud opened in the inning with singles and after two fly outs, Johnny Damon singled to load the bases (and end Santana's day). Edgar Renteria's single off Scot Shields scored two runs, but David Ortiz struck out to end the inning. ... The only other baserunners were Ortiz (double in 4th), Renteria (double in 7th) and Jason Varitek (single in 9th).

Terry Francona says Curt Schilling will throw anywhere between 40 and 100 pitches on Thursday. "There's not going to be a pitch count," Francona said. "Some of it will be on how he feels. We'll discuss it. Some of it will be how hard the innings are." (Some more Curt.) ... Jonathan Papelbon, who starts today, will likely go to the bullpen. ... Mike Timlin will be the closer, at least until Keith Foulke returns.

Papelbon / Byrd at 4:00.

Stones at Fenway

The Rolling Stones open their Bigger Bang tour tonight at Fenway Park. Check out IORR for more info on the Boston rehearsals and possible set list. (Click the photo for a larger version.)

August 20, 2005

Schilling Will Start On Thursday

So says Tito.

G120: Red Sox 4, Angels 3 (10)

Great win last night (actually, this morning, as the game ended at 1:51). Boston never trailed, but after a blown two-run lead in the 8th and a whopping 16 men left on base, it felt like a comeback victory.

Matt Clement left after seven innings with a 3-1 lead, but Mike Timlin couldn't hold it. With two outs and Orlando Cabrera on second, Timlin walked Vladimir Guerrero intentionally. Although it put the tying run on base, it was the right move, but then he and Varitek fell asleep as the two Angels pulled off a double steal without drawing a throw. Bengie Molina's single to left tied the game.

In the 10th, Gabe Kapler and Johnny Damon both singled off Scot Shields. Edgar Renteria should have bunted, but he didn't -- and struck out. Roberto Petagine (in the game because David Ortiz had been ejected two innings earlier) fell behind 1-2, fouled off four straight pitches, and eventually drew a 10-pitch walk to load the bases. Manny Ramirez's high chopper to third -- no chance at a double play -- brought in the crucial run. ... Curt Schilling was excellent in relief, pitching two perfect innings, striking out four batters.

I love David Ortiz, but his crybaby routine on called strikes is getting old. Derek Jeter whines a lot, but Ortiz has likely surpassed him. Tiz definitely got squeezed in the eighth inning, but his ejection took his bat out of the game, forcing Petagine to hit in the tenth. Flo:
It's not like I was going crazy out there. Seriously, I'm leading the league in walks for a reason. I think I know what I'm doing out there. You never see me complain about a pitch that is a strike. I guess that follows me when I'm playing here. Dude, seriously, I've been getting bad calls all year long. But it's OK. You can get a bad call in one at-bat, maybe two at-bats. But in five at-bats? Get a bad call in all of them. I ain't taking that, bro. This is not a game you play just for fun. All I do is go to the plate and hit. I'm not out there playing defense. And I know the strike zone very well.
Ortiz moans plenty on actual strikes. I half expect him to bitch to the ump when he takes a full cut and misses. It's hard to tell exactly what he says to the umpires -- most times he simply looks exasperated, eyes rolling, hands on hips -- but I'm surprised he doesn't get run more often.

Bunts: In the second inning, Bill Mueller singled to center. Alex Cora then bunted down the third base line, the ball hit off Chone Figgins's glove and Cora was credited with a single. On the next pitch, Kapler bunted to the same spot. Figgins made that play and the runners advanced. In the third inning, Varitek bunted for a single (Figgins had no play on that one either). ... But when the situation absolutely called for a bunt, in the 10th, Renteria held back.

Keith Foulke says he felt great yesterday: "I warmed up 10-12 pitches. Even at that point, I just feel stronger, I feel more balanced than I used to. ... If I'm not pitching in a ball game by Sept. 1, there's bigger problems than my knee. ... It's really sore, but as long as I don't wake up tomorrow and it's not swollen like a softball, it's not that big a deal."

Two pitches before Nixon's line drive, Foulke jammed Adam Stern on a pitch that aggravated Stern's sore right thumb. Stern could be put on the disabled list in a few days when Nixon returns to the club. ... Nixon will play for Pawtucket Sunday (and possibly Monday) before joining the Sox Tuesday. "The plan is to play seven innings in the field Sunday and DH on Monday."

Alex Cora would have pitched in the eighth on Thursday if Mike Remlinger hadn't retired Steve Finley for the inning's third out. Cora: [I]t's because I'm the best athlete on the team. ... I was throwing nothing but fastballs in the bullpen. Had a live arm, too."

Tim Wakefield: "I'm thankful it's not broke. I think if it hit my ankle, it probably would have broke. It hit me right here [just above the ankle]. If it goes one more ball width lower, it hits my ankle bone, but it caught enough of the meat." Wakefield hopes to make his next start, which would be Wednesday in Kansas City.

Arroyo / Santana at 4:00.

August 19, 2005

Bellhorn DFA'd; Nixon Hits Foulke With Line Drive

Mark Bellhorn has been designated for assignment. He will be forever remembered for being One Of The 25 and his huge home runs in ALCS Games 6 and 7 against the Yankees and against the Cardinals the first game of the World Series. However, there really is no place for Bellhorn on the team at this point. ... Now, why is Millar still drawing a check?

Keith Foulke's simulated game this afternoon was cut short when he was hit above the right elbow by a line drive hit by Trot Nixon. Edes:
Foulke was not using the protective screen that many batting practice pitchers use and he was struck on the arm on the third pitch he threw. ... Nixon said that Foulke told him the ball hit him just above the right elbow, striking the fleshy part of the arm and not bone.
Nixon hopes to rehab with Pawtucket this weekend and rejoin the Sox on Tuesday in Kansas City.

Damon Denies Steroid Rumors (Sort Of)

Johnny Damon offered a denial (of sorts) regarding rumors that he had tested positive for steroids. ... Damon said he was tested twice this year, first in spring training and again two or three months ago.
I just think people want to start something with anybody. I'd be more than happy to take any test. There's no way. If I tested positive for something, it's going to be because someone threw something in a drink or did something like that. ... There's been so many rumors in my personal life in Boston that it's been absolutely crazy. ...

I think it's because of the way I'm built. I've had people thinking that since I was in high school. ... I think it starts with a rumor, a reporter somewhere wants to see if a player will crack. They'll say anything. They want to come after stars, they want to see how people react.
It's an odd denial. Damon says he was tested twice this year, but doesn't actually say he tested negative. He also offers a possible reason out of his control if he was to test positive. ... Theo Epstein: "The reporting of this steroid issue has taken on witch-hunt proportions and I think it's wrong. That's a pretty severe accusation to be throwing around, whether it came from an Internet chat room or a newspaper. I'd like to think some actual reporting is going on."

Obviously, there was no big announcement by MLB today.

Keith Foulke will pitch a simulated game this afternoon at Angel Stadium. Epstein says that Foulke will need at least four appearances with Pawtucket. ... Trot Nixon will hit in Foulke's game. ... Tim Wakefield was taken to Anaheim Memorial Hospital. X-rays were negative and Terry Francona described the bruise as a "deep contusion on his lower shin."

Some of the Red Sox discuss the Rolling Stones, including Theo Epstein, whose favorite Stones song is "Happy", and Trot Nixon, who claims he "never listened to the Stones that much until my wife made me play some songs on a CD."

Snips from Gordon Edes's chat this afternoon (I fixed some typos):
... if all goes well tonight and tomorrow with the Seadogs, [Craig] Hansen will be called up, perhaps as early as next week ... Tuesday in KC is not out of the question. Theo hinted at as much yesterday. Hansen will be used as a reliever, almost certainly in a setup role ...

[Millar] has just about hit bottom. he's hitting .224 this month, his on base average and slugging percentage are .258 and .259, respectively, he isn't drawing walks, and his slump has all but consumed him mentally at this point. I suspect Olerud will be getting the majority of playing time the rest of the way. Forty-six hits on the road this season, just 7 extra-base hits, no home runs, that's stunning. ...

I'm guessing the Sox will pull the plug on Remlinger, perhaps as soon as tonight. ... I'm on record as saying I don't believe Manny will be in the Sox lineup next season, and the Mets are one of the few teams that could pick up that contract.
Clement / Lackey at 10:00.

G119: Angels 13, Red Sox 4

The dogs have been walked, the wine is cold, and channel 450 has Boston (69-49, 4.5 GA in East) at Anaheim (69-51, 2 GA in West).

Red Sox 1st: The first pitch is a Bartolo Colon 94 mph fastball taken for a strike by Johnny Damon at 10:08. Colon retires the Sox in order in four minutes on 11 pitches. Damon and Renteria ground out to Orlando Cabrera at shortstop and David Ortiz is caught looking at a fastball on the outside corner.

Angels: Tim Wakefield falls behind Chone Figgins 3-0, gets two called strikes and then strikes him out swinging. Cabrera hits the first pitch to the track in left-center. Damon and Ramirez sprint over and nearly collide at the wall -- their hats go flying -- and Damon throws the ball in. No one is hurt and it's a double for the OC. Darin Erstad's grounder to Kevin Millar gets Cabrera to third. Vladimir Guerrero -- 4-for-10 against Wakefield, with four home runs -- gets ahead 2-0, and is then walked intentionally. It's a smart move, as Bengie Molina grounds out to shortstop.

Red Sox 2nd: After Ramirez gets called out on strikes, Tony Graffanino drops a single into right center. Millar (after hitting a line drive down the left field foul line) grounds into a 5-4-3 double play. The legend continues. ... Millar's jogging down the first base line (as usual) as the first baseman takes the throw, but he will not be criticized in the press for his lack of hustle.

Angels 2nd: After Casey Kotchman drills a 3-1 pitch to right center for his fifth home run of the year -- Angels 1-0 -- Wakefield sets down the 7-8-9 hitters.

Red Sox 3rd: With one out, Doug Mirabelli singles to center. After Gabe Kapler flies out, Damon singles to right-center. Guerrero bobbles the ball and The Stud races to third without a throw. Renteria sees eight pitches -- half of Colon's total for the inning and a couple of them clocked at 97 -- and strikes out swinging.

Angles 3rd: Wakefield looks good: Figgins and Cabrera strike out, Erstad singles to center, and Vlad flies out to right.

Red Sox 4th: Colon looks better: Ortiz flies to shallow right-center, Ramirez whiffs on 97 heat up and in, and Graffanino grounds to short.

Angels 4th: With one out, Casey Kotchman walks and takes second on a wild pitch. Juan Rivera rips an 0-2 pitch down the third base line. Mueller dives into foul territory to snare it, but his throw to first pulls Millar off the bag. However, a run is saved. Wakefield then strikes out Finley and gets Kennedy to ground out first to pitcher. Still 1-0.

Red Sox 5th: Colon at 47 pitches through four innings (11-12-16-8). Millar hacks at the first pitch and fouls out to first. Mueller grounds to third (on seven pitches) and Mirabelli flies to right (on eight).

Angels 5th: Cabrera walks with one out. On a stolen base attempt, Belli's errant throw short-hops Edgar and goes into center. Damon throws a slow rainbow to third, well behind Cabrera. Infield in. Erstad loops a ball to left. Ramirez runs to his right, the ball drops and gets by him; Manny chases it to the track and Erstad goes to third (single and two-base error). The day off has done nothing to help his fielding. Guerrero is walked again. Molina pokes an outside pitch to right, Erstad scores and Vlad takes third. Kotchman lines a ball off Wakefield's right shin. Another run scores. Wakefield has to leave the game, although after 92 pitches and allowing the last five Angels to reach, he was probably close to done anyway. Myers (?) in -- against a RH?
      IP   H BB  K  WHIP  AVG  OBP  SLG
V LH 20.2 12 4 13 0.77 .176 .219 .250
V RH 6.0 9 5 0 2.33 .346 .485 .500
Maybe Tito knows something we don't. Rivera nails Myers's second pitch to deep left for a three-run home run. Anaheim's 4-0 lead is now 7-0. Nope, Tito's just an idiot.

Red Sox 6th: Does Kapler have the worst batting stance on the team? Despite his muscular build, he swings flat-footed and generates no power with his swing. He pops out in the infield. It's a 10-pitch AB, but then Damon (F8) and Renteria (4-3) end the inning on only three pitches.

Angels 6th: Figgins (another RH batter) doubles into the right field corner on Myers's first pitch. Two ground balls get him home and Anaheim leads 8-0.

Red Sox 7th: Colon at 76 pitches. Tiz whiffs on 96 heat, but Manny rips an opposite field ground rule double into the right field corner. A start of something? Graffanino fouls out to first, but Millar singles to left center! An RBI for Cabin! The Sox are on the board. Mueller lines a single past Colon's head and into center. Two men on for Belli. And he grounds a hit into right. Bases loaded for Kapler. Bud Black visits Fat Bart. Kapler singles up the middle -- two runs in. 8-3. Four straight singles -- but Damon flies out to shallow left. Colon at 104 pitches.

Angels 7th: Remlinger in. If Tito isn't throwing up the white flag, he clearly believes the team cannot come back, and is saving the better arms for Friday night. Two singles and a walk loads the bases with one out. Francona leaves Remlinger in to give up a two-run single to Figgins. 10-3. It must be tough pitching with a huge fork sticking out of your back. Remlinger remains in the game, and finally gets the third out.

Red Sox 8th: Brendan Donnelly in for Colon. He throws 22 pitches and gets the Sox in order.

Angels 8th: Remlinger is out for yet another inning. He gets the first two Angels (though one of them is a shot to deep center), but then gives up a double, single and home run (Rivera's second bomb of the night; he's 4-for-5, with 6 RBI). 13-3.

Red Sox 9th: Greg Jones in for Anaheim. Mueller hits a two-out solo home run. Game over at 1:03. The lead in the East is down to four games.

August 18, 2005

Two Big Steroid Suspensions Coming Friday?

Clemens and Damon?

From a thread Thursday afternoon at Sox Talk (a White Sox board):
I am just repeating what was told through my source that I have through MLB that works with MLB's press releases. ... I am hearing that 2 of baseballs biggest names will be announced friday after they tested positive for steroids, i guess they appealed just like palmeiro did and that is why it took so long for this to come out. I must also tell you that my source told me about palmeiro testing positive 2 days before they announced it, so i have a reason to believe he is also right this time. A starting pitcher (old) from the astros and a center fielder from the red sox have tested positive and they will be announced and suspended come friday.
Teinowitz [ESPN radio host] giving more hints, 'one in the AL and one in the NL, both in the AllStar Game this year'. Jurko saying that he'd guess the Cubs would love one of these guys as a FA next year, implying Damon. Mac also asked something implying Damon. Now he's saying that one guy is a pitcher and the other isn't. Also that one of the guys has been on their show (so they're basically backing up Damon and Clemens)
They closed the show with it also - confirming that they were told 2 players, 1 NL and 1 AL who's teams would be in the playoffs if the season ended today - tested positive.
The Neyer stuff, from his Thursday chat:
Derek in Iowa City: What's with the rumors about the two "superstars" that have tested positive for banned substances?

Rob Neyer: We're hearing the same rumors at ESPN, along with some actual names. But I don't have any interest in spreading rumors. We'll know when we know. ...

Dan (Boston): Are you a Carpenter or Clemens man?

Rob Neyer: Clemens, although that could change soon.
Two SoSH threads.

More Manufactured Manny Madness?

Are the Globe sportswriters trying to spark another Manny controversy?

The man with the most RBIs in the majors this season was out of the lineup yesterday afternoon, choosing to rest against the Tigers rather than against the AL West-leading Angels. But even the very idea of a day off clearly rankled Nick Cafardo, in an article with the puke-worthy headline, "No beating the heart of Millar":
He's a little quieter these days, but one thing his teammates can say on Kevin Millar's behalf is he wants to play. Wants to play every day. They wish they could say the same about Manny Ramirez. ...

[D]id they lose [yesterday] because arguably the best righthanded hitter in the game decided he needed yet another day off because he felt "beat up," according to Sox manager Terry Francona?

It's not a stretch to say that having Ramirez in the middle of the lineup might have been the difference between winning and losing yesterday. ... None of us would ever doubt that a player needs a day off here and there. Playing a long season in hot weather isn't easy. And players who are 30 and older need more rest. ...
Chris Snow began his Globe notebook with similar doubts:
There was July 27 in Tampa Bay, the most maddening instance of them all. There was July 30 and all but two innings July 31 against Minnesota, as the trade deadline came and went. There was Aug. 4, following the collision with Edgar Renteria. And then there was yesterday, the fifth time in the last 18 games that Manny Ramirez enjoyed at least a partial day off. ...

The team, it should be pointed out, has a scheduled off day Monday and has enjoyed three off days since July 27. Ramirez's requested day off followed a shaky stretch in left field, as Ramirez made three errors in four games. Two of the errors led to three unearned runs. ... "Sometimes when guys get either tired or beat up, for some guys it's concentration," Francona said. "It's not just physical, it's mental."
The other Boston and Hartford papers had very little to say about Ramirez's day off. If you've spent any time here, you know that I'm a huge Ramirez fan (or some might say, an apologist). I don't see the big deal here. Ramirez was ready to pinch-hit twice yesterday, but his teammates ended two separate innings before he could bat. He could have pinch-hit for those hitters to begin the following inning, but it seems that Francona wanted him to hit with men on base.

As far as Ramirez's fielding, I don't care about how many errors Manny is charged with. He has booted some balls -- most Red Sox players have -- but for years, we've all seen plays that should have been errors called hits and vice versa, so the actual number of errors charged to Ramirez is meaningless. And while Tito said fatigue might have affected Manny's fielding, it hasn't blunted his batting. In his last eight games, Manny is hitting .400 (12-for-30) with two homers, eight RBI and 14 runs scored.

By way of comparison, Johnny Damon recently missed two games (Saturday and Sunday) because of a tight and sore left hamstring. He returned to the lineup for the Detroit series and went 2-for-13 (with two walks). He looked positively brutal in the outfield. In the first inning of Monday's game, Chris Shelton's fly ball sailed over Damon's head for a triple. Then, as Schilling was struggling in the bottom of the ninth, Damon gave up on what became a triple for Dimitri Young. On Tuesday, Detroit scored the go-ahead run in the eighth inning on a routine fly to center; Damon had no shot at throwing out Shelton, who had tagged at third.

We all agree that Damon's a great leadoff guy, and we know his fielding is sometimes questionable and he has no arm whatsoever. It's all part of the Damon package. Why aren't Manny's quirks (fielding and otherwise) similarly brushed aside? I have yet to see any Boston writer criticizing Damon's arm in the same way as Manny's fielding. ... Damon has been banged up this season -- as he has been quite vocal about telling us -- but who's to say Manny isn't playing hurt?

Also: It's amazing how Millar had escaped being called out in the Boston press (Cafardo's piece linked above is merely the most recent example.) The guy is slugging .285 away from Fenway Park this year. Slugging! ... .285! ... Dontrelle Willis's career slugging percentage is .296.

NESN's Tom Caron reports: "One member of the Red Sox front office said there are no plans to promote [Craig Hansen] to Triple-A, and that he could be thrown into the fire of an AL East division race after this weekend. Hansen will pitch twice over the weekend in Portland, and will be re-evaluated at that time. Don't be surprised if he winds up with the big club in Kansas City, barring any setbacks over the weekend." ... Is Mark Bellhorn's Red Sox career over?

In Anaheim:
Thursday: Wakefield / Colon, 10:00
Friday: Clement / Lackey, 10:00
Saturday: Arroyo / Santana, 4:00
Sunday: Papelbon / Byrd, 4:00

G118: Tigers 6, Red Sox 5

How David Wells's day began: single, single with throwing error, single, single, double, single, strikeout, single. Seven hits and five runs on 27 pitches.

Wells settled down a bit and ending up pitching into the fifth. Jeremi Gonzalez pitched two more shutout innings and Mike Remlinger retired five of the six batters he faced (?!?) as the Sox tried to come back against Jeremy Bonderman. They had plenty of guys on base (13 hits and four walks), but grounded into five double plays -- the last one by David Ortiz ending the game with the tying run on first.

Manny Ramirez had the day off and John Olerud went 2-for-4 in the cleanup spot. Manny was set to pinch-hit twice -- for Kevin Millar in the seventh and Gabe Kapler in the eighth -- but both innings ended with him in the on-deck circle. In the seventh, Varitek grounded out (after hitting a couple of long foul balls down the right field line, the first of which, if fair, would have given Boston a 6-5 lead); Tony Graffanino ended the eighth by hitting into a double play.

The Yankees' bullpen blew another game to the Devil Rays last night -- Tampa has won nine of their 13 meetings this season -- so the East lead remains 4.5. ... Out in Seattle, Kansas City lost its 18th straight game last night, and fell 36.5 games behind the White Sox.

Boston opens a four-game series in Anaheim tonight. Wakefield / Colon at 10:00.

August 17, 2005

The Father Of Base Ball

The influence of Henry Chadwick on the game of baseball cannot be overstated. As a journalist in New York, he invented the newspaper box score, and introduced such statistics such as batting average and ERA. He invented and popularized such terms as "assist," "cut off," "battery," "base on balls," "fungo," "double play," "error," and "goose egg." He was also instrumental in setting many of the modern game's early rules, and he edited numerous annual baseball guides.

To enable sportswriters like himself to record every play of a game, Chadwick assigned each position a number from 1-9 and invented a series of letter symbols. It is believed he is responsible for "K" for strikeout ("S" was already used for single).

Chadwick was born in Exeter, England, in 1824 and came to America at age 14. He began writing for the Long Island Star in 1844, and began covering cricket and other sports for the New York Times, Brooklyn Eagle and New York Clipper in 1856. During the Civil War, he was a reporter for the New York Tribune. He was also a pianist, songwriter, and drama critic. Chadwick died in Brooklyn on April 20, 1908, and was enshrined in baseball's Hall of Fame in 1938, the only writer elected to the Hall itself (as opposed to the Writers Wing).

Walter Camp writes:
Chadwick was actually a baseball promoter who used writing as a tool. ... He wrote descriptive accounts of baseball games and also gave his readers an insight into the game that no one else could provide. A typical Chadwick article would include a description of the weather, the crowd, and a recap of each inning played.
In 1861, Chadwick wrote:
In order to obtain an accurate estimate of a player's skill, an analysis, both of his play at the bat and in the field, should be made, inclusive of the way in which he was put out; and that this may be done, it is requisite that all ... contests should be recorded in a uniform manner.
Alan Schwarz, in his book The Numbers Game, notes the "staggeringly detailed statistics" in a 1858 box score. Besides the usual runs and outs, there were nine other columns for each player:
... for his defense, his total of fly catches, bound catches (balls caught on one bounce, which then counted as outs), and times putting out a runner on the bases; for his batting, times put out on flies, bounds, and foul balls; and for his base running, how often he was put out at first, second, and third bases (not home, curiously). These tallies gave a reader a vivid snapshot of how every player's bat, legs, and glove impacted a win or loss.
Frederick Ivor-Campbell:
Chadwick's detailed scoring enabled him to write more precise game reports than his predecessors, and led him to develop and compile the game's first detailed statistics. Before Chadwick, box scores listed only the participants and their outs made and runs scored. Over his first decade of baseball reporting, Chad developed his own scoring system, introducing it to the public in 1867. A difficult system to master, it was eventually superseded by simpler systems, but with it Chadwick produced the first genuinely informative box scores, and many of the most basic player statistics ...
Jules Tygiel notes that Chadwick
invented the game's historical essence. The ways in which Americans would absorb and analyze baseball from the late nineteenth century to the present emerged largely from Chadwick's vision, innovation, and reforming passion.
As the years went on, Chadwick became a bit of a crank -- he may have also invented the attitude of the game was better in the old days. He railed against the various evils of the game -- like home runs -- and refused to print statistics he no longer believed in.

Camp adds:
Chadwick was witness to an increase in ticket prices, which owners used to raise revenues, while giving players the share of the profits that they demanded. Chadwick believed that both sides were corrupting the game with their greed.
Chadwick's ideal game was a taut 1-0 battle and he routinely lamented the "modern player" who was more interested in padding his own hit and run statistics (which would then increase his market value) that team-oriented acts like bunting and moving runners over.

Chadwick is buried in Brooklyn's Green-Wood Cemetery, where Laura and I spent a few hours yesterday. Charles Ebbets, when he owned the Brooklyn Dodgers, organized annual pilgrimages to Chadwick's grave; Ebbets himself is buried a short distance away.

Besides being topped by a large granite baseball and having crossed bats and catcher's equipment on the sides of the monument, check out the baselines and four stone bases (complete with belt buckles)!

G117: Red Sox 10, Tigers 7 (10)

First of all, we can thank David Ortiz -- yet again -- for last night's win. His home run in the ninth inning tied the game at 3-3 and his three-run blast in the tenth put the game on ice.

We can also thank Tigers manager Alan Trammell, for pulling starter Nate Robertson after only eight innings. Robertson had totally dominated Boston, allowing only two hits (a two-run home run by Jason Varitek in the second and Edgar Renteria's single in the sixth), and throwing a mere 90 pitches. Trammell apparently felt the ninth inning was the time for his "closer" -- so out went Robertson and in came Fernando Rodney.

With Boston two outs from defeat, Ortiz belted a 3-1 pitch to deep right-center to tie the game -- and further his life's work of convincing us silly statheads that clutch hitting does, in fact, exist.

Trammell ended up using three more pitchers as the Red Sox struck for seven runs and seven hits in the tenth inning. In addition to Flo's home run, Varitek added his second two-run shot -- which pushed the lead to 10-3 and caused one of the FSN announcers to proclaim: "This ain't right!"

What actually ain't right is that Mike Remlinger is shaky even with a seven-run lead. We will forget about his meltdown (walk, single, walk, grand slam) after getting two quick outs, so as not to mar the team's wonderful comeback.

Deep down in Florida, Mariano Rivera allowed a game-tying home run in the ninth and Scott Proctor walked in the winning run on four pitches as the Devil Rays won 4-3. Boston's lead is 4.5 games.

Wells / Bonderman at 2:00.

August 15, 2005

G116: Tigers 7, Red Sox 6

In which a possibly over-worked Schilling spits the bit in the bottom of the ninth (four hits, one walk, and three runs in .2 innings). ... A bad one to lose, with the Yankees winning in Tampa. ... Seeing the sixth-inning streaker would have been amusing.

White Sox at Red Sox, ppd., rain

Chicago was up 5-2, in the top of the fourth, when the tarp was brought out for the second time. After a delay of almost four hours, the game was called, and wiped from the books.

After allowing only a double to the first nine batters, Matt Clement had faltered, allowing seven hits and one walk to the next ten batters. He also apparently had trouble breaking 90 with his fastball. Not so good.

On to Detroit.

August 14, 2005

G115: Red Sox 7, White Sox 4

Is this getting boring? ... The Red Sox have won six straight, 14 of 16 and 18 of 23. They've scored 62 runs in their last six games. They have had 10+ hits in each of their last seven games and are batting .354 with a .429 OBP during that time. They've also won 13 straight games at home. In their last 10 games at Fenway, the Sox have hit .334 and scored 86 runs. They leads the AL East by five games.

Tim Wakefield threw six shutout innings last night on only 70 pitches (11-11-7 20-12-9), allowing only four baserunners, before heavy rain forced a 40-minute delay. When he returned, his rhythm was off and he allowed back-to-back homers to Paul Konerko and Aaron Rowand. He finished with five hits allowed, five strikeouts and no walks. ... On the other side, Boston made Jon Garland throw 74 pitches in three innings and 90 through the first four (18-32-24 16).

Two Sox players told the Herald that Jon Papelbon will get the ball in Detroit on Tuesday, even though he's been pitching in relief for Pawtucket. ... Can we pull the plug on the the Mike Remlinger Era (6 batters: 3 hits, 2 walks, error)? ... Johnny Damon "tweaked" a hamstring running to first on Friday night, but he expects to play today. He has a hit in 49 of his last 51 games. ... Roberto Petagine hit his first home run since September 27, 1998.

Tony Graffanino is hitting .358 (24-for-67) since joining the Sox; in his last four games, all at Fenway, he's batting .563 (9-for-16), with four doubles, a homer, eight RBIs, and six runs scored. ... Meanwhile, in 11 games with the PawSox, Mark Bellhorn is 5-for-45 (.111) with 15 strikeouts and one home run. ... Keith Foulke threw 54 pitches off a mound (three sessions of 18) without discomfort yesterday afternoon. ... David Ortiz (3-for-4) reached base in eight consecutive at-bats (7 hits, 1 walk) before striking out in the eighth inning last night.

Here are the bottom 14 in RBI Opportunity (min. 300 PA):
                PA  R1  R2 R3  Tot BI RBI/Runner
1. CGuzman 350 130 69 40 239 12 .0502
2. CPatterson 351 95 64 31 190 14 .0737
3. TWomack 317 105 60 31 196 15 .0765
4. WTaveras 468 105 74 48 227 19 .0837
5. MBellhorn 335 123 71 51 245 21 .0857
6. NLogan 316 78 56 24 158 14 .0886
7. CBlake 408 123 84 38 245 23 .0939
8. ABerroa 473 122 87 34 243 23 .0947
9. CGuillen 347 107 54 28 189 18 .0952
10. JWilson 452 122 76 39 237 23 .0970
11. DBell 426 157 108 61 326 33 .1012
12. JRollins 507 101 84 39 224 23 .1027
13. MCuddyer 321 97 65 40 202 21 .1040
14. ERenteria 481 172 113 65 350 37 .1057
Clement / Hernandez at 2:00.

August 13, 2005

RBI Opportunity

Yesterday afternoon, I wrote about Manny Ramirez:
I'd like to see Manny's RBI numbers re: actual RBI opportunities.
Today, I discover that Baseball Prospectus has a new stat called RBI Opportunity. Sweet.

Here are MLB's Top 15 with 300 plate appearances (with plate appearances, total number of runners on first, second, and third when batting, RBI (minus HR) and RBI generated per baserunner):
                 PA  R1  R2 R3 Total RBI RBI/Runner
1. VGuerrero 408 130 85 45 260 58 .2231
2. CEverett 355 118 71 42 231 50 .2165
3. MRamirez 451 171 110 69 350 75 .2143
4. GAnderson 457 147 102 50 299 61 .2040
5. JUribe 361 109 68 35 212 43 .2028
6. GSheffield 492 155 105 56 316 64 .2025
7. DLee 498 118 98 52 268 54 .2015
8. THafner 379 110 87 46 243 48 .1975
9. JCantu 441 150 90 55 295 58 .1966
10. MSweeney 365 118 68 39 225 44 .1956
11. CDelgado 424 147 87 55 289 56 .1938
12. AKennedy 307 82 49 24 155 30 .1935
13. EAlfonzo 302 86 63 32 181 35 .1934
14. CCrawford 516 135 86 48 269 52 .1933
15. DOrtiz 503 194 123 52 369 71 .1924
This season, Derek "Clutch" Jeter is currently #161.

2004 leader: Carlos Guillen (.2194); Top Sock: Ortiz at #4 (.2055)
2003 leader: Miguel Cabrera (.2183); Top Sock: Ortiz at #24 (.1828)
2002 leader: Larry Walker (.2335); Top Sock: Manny at #3 (.2120) and Nomar at #4 (.2043)
2001 leader: Juan Gonzlaez (.2323); Top Sox: Manny at #33 (.1834)

G114: Red Sox 9, White Sox 8

I was hoping David Ortiz would triple in his final at-bat last night, so he'd hit for the cycle. It's not so crazy -- Ortiz tripled three times last year and has legged out one three-bagger this season.

But considering the final score, it was probably better that he instead crushed a three-run home run to dead center. It was his second tater of the night and it gave him a career-high six runs batted in to go with his four hits. The eighth-inning shot was also his 100th home run with Boston.

Ortiz's first three hits came off lefty Mark Buehrle. Tiz is hitting .305 against LHP this year (and .362 against them at Fenway). Part of his increased success is because of
Ramon, Luis, and Frank. Ramon is Ramon de los Santos, the scout who originally signed Ortiz for the Seattle Mariners just after Ortiz turned 17, almost 13 years ago. Luis and Frank, well, they're just Luis and Frank, Ortiz unable to recall their last names. But they have this in common: They all throw lefthanded, and they all are enlisted by Ortiz in the offseason to throw to him on the island.

"One throws a sinker," Ortiz said. "One throws a curveball. One throws pitches all over the place. Those are the guys who pretty much throw to me in the offseason. ... Those guys give me a pretty good idea of what lefties are trying to do."

The Red Sox maintained their five-game lead in the East though they got a bit of a scare when, with two outs in the ninth, Curt Schilling allowed a home run, a single and another home run in a span of seven pitches. It cut the Sox's lead from 9-5 to 9-8, but Schilling got Aaron Rowand looking for the game's final out.

David Wells, feeling out of sorts this week with headaches and sinus trouble, allowed two runs in each of the first two innings before settling down. He lasted 6.2 innings and for the fourth consecutive start did not issue a walk. ... It was the 12th straight home win for the Red Sox, their longest streak since setting an American League record with 24 straight in 1988. Their last loss at Fenway was July 18 against Tampa Bay.

Trot Nixon, at least a week away from being activated, will take batting practice today. ... Keith Foulke hopes to throw batting practice next week in Detroit.

Garland / Wakefield at 7:00.

August 12, 2005

'Roid Rumors

Earlier this week, Peter Gammons wrote:
The steroid rumor mill has been spinning out of control. More than 50 players tested positive, one megastar. Clubhouse talk. Maybe it's only a dozen, but there's a bigger name than Rafael Palmeiro. That's what's going around. ...

Why should Lance Berkman, Mike Sweeney, Garret Anderson, Jason Varitek or Carlos Beltran have to compete with cheaters? Why should Roy Halladay, Jake Peavy, Rich Harden or Pedro Martinez have to outperform someone whose fastball and recovery time are enhanced?
Does that mean we can cross those names off the suspected players list?

More rumors from Howard Bryant, in his Wednesday Herald column:
Before last week's Red Sox-Royals finale, a Royals player, who shall remain nameless, sat in the Kansas City dugout staring straight ahead squinting against the early afternoon sun. ... "Forget Palmeiro," the player said. "Be on the lookout for more. There are more names coming. Trust me."

The television executive whose network is a rights holder of Major League Baseball said last Friday that baseball had the names of as many as a dozen positive steroid tests that it was withholding from the public ...

Three days later, before Monday's 11-6 Sox win over Texas, a Red Sox pitcher heard the same thing ... "We're all hearing the same thing," the player said, noting that leading up to the Palmeiro announcement word had floated for days that "somebody big" was going down. "I heard they had 58 names they weren't releasing. I also heard that at least two were bigger than Palmeiro."

Later that afternoon, a former executive told me he had heard the talk recently, too, but the number is closer to 50 than 58. ... An Oakland executive not named Beane was frustrated, leaning toward believing the rumors. "If they knew about Palmeiro since May," the executive said, "what's to say they aren't sitting on more names?"
And yesterday on SoSH, there were these posts:
5:47 PM -- Michael Kay on the radio: Heard his rumor independent of Gammons -- Two big names, one in the national league, one AL. One would shock you - not the type anyone has speculated on, the other one would disappoint you. Very big names.

6:49 PM -- According to, Kay said one was a "near HOF" quality player and the other was a "HOF lock." And there's a suggestion in the thread over there, but it's not clear, that he said that the HOF lock is the AL player.

10:03 PM -- From NYYfans ... I know someone who is in contact with a certain baseball author. This author claims that A-Rod is definitely juicing. I won't reveal the author's name here, and I can't even confirm if he even said that, but just some food for thought.
Not much of a source, but that's gossip for you. I would think that lesser-talented players would be more apt to try to gain any sort of advantage, since that might be all that keeps them in the major leagues. Then again, the prospect of a $100 million free agent deal would be pretty alluring to a star player too.

MLB's apparent unwillingness to release these test results -- in the wake of pretty clear evidence they sat on Palmeiro's positive results, letting him continue playing until he got his 3,000th hit and after the Hall of Fame ceremonies passed -- is one of this story's more intriguing subplots.

ALCS Preview?

White Sox (38-17, best road record) at Red Sox (36-18, best home record).

Wells / Buehrle -- Wakefield / Garland -- Clement / Hernandez. The two teams split a four-game series in late July (6-5, 4-8, 3-0, 4-6). ... The Boston bats are hot: they've scored at least eight runs in eight of their last 12 victories.

Tony Massarotti says "let us set aside all the talk of Manny being Manny" and then quotes some impressive stats -- but Ramirez's hitting is a huge part (to me) of what makes Manny Manny.
Fact: Ramirez is the best run producer in baseball history, per at-bat, since Ted Williams. During last month's All-Star Game, Fox-TV revealed that Ramirez had the sixth-highest at-bat-to-RBI ratio in history, behind only Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Hank Greenberg, Jimmie Foxx and Williams. Not a single one of those men has played since 1960.
This ratio -- which is very impressive -- is still context-driven; I'd like to see Manny's RBI numbers re: actual RBI opportunities. ... Manny has 107 RBI in 105 games this year -- he could become the first Red Sox player to knock in more than 150 runs since Ted Williams and Vern Stephens each had 159 in 1949. ... Nick Cafardo looks at Ramirez's MVP chances.

Keith Foulke enjoyed his most productive day of his rehab on Wednesday, throwing 35 pitches off the bullpen mound. He also took about 20 long toss throws. "To go from not being able to walk up a flight of stairs post surgery, to throwing off the mound in three weeks is good progress. ... The last three or four days have been really good, but my leg is tired ... When I come back, you'll see that I'm throwing better and I'm stronger." Foulke will throw on flat ground today and return to the mound Saturday.

Cafardo also writes: "According to a team source, one scenario the Sox are considering is to release second baseman Mark Bellhorn after his 20-day rehab stint at Pawtucket, get him through waivers, and then outright him to Pawtucket and call him up when rosters are expanded Sept. 1." ... Gabe Kapler is glad to be "home". ... An update on AA ace Jon Lester.

A look at the guys who work in the Sox clubhouse. ... David Ortiz leads the AL with 72 walks, three shy of his career best last year. It's great to see him taking a walk, rather than trying to hit pitches out of the zone. ... Craig Hansen was promoted to Double A Portland from the Gulf Coast rookie league.

The tentative schedule for 2006: Boston begins the season in Texas on Monday, April 3; its home opener will be against Tampa Bay on April 10. The first four series against the Yankees (May 1-2, May 9-11, May 22-24, and June 6-8) will include no weekend games. The Sox also host the Mets on June 27-29.

August 10, 2005

G113: Red Sox 16, Rangers 5

The Yankees lost to Chicago 2-1 in 10 innings in the afternoon, so Boston began the evening with a five-game lead in the East.

Rangers 1st: The newly-cornrowed Arroyo shows a nice bite on his breaking pitches and retires Texas in order on 13 pitches -- three fly balls to Damon in center. When will Varitek stop the stand-up-out-of-the-crouch on a potential strike three? It never works. Just because Tek will chase chin-high fastballs with two strikes doesn't mean anyone else will.

Red Sox 1st: Rogers, booed as he takes the hill, retires the Sox in order, also on 13 pitches. Ortiz ends the inning by drilling the ball right back at Rogers's mid-section, but he recovers and makes the throw to first.

Rangers 2nd: Three up and three down. Blalock pops to Mueller in short left. Soriano smacks one to deep right-center, but Kapler sprints over and grabs it on the track. Nevin strikes out.

Red Sox 2nd: Back from commercial and Rogers is still warming up. Texas pitching coach Orel Hershiser is talking with an umpire. Perhaps Rogers was hurt by Tiz's line drive? ... He seems fine and stays in. Rogers starts Manny off with a few off-speed pitches, then strikes him out with an 88 mph inside fastball. Varitek grounds out to second. Millar looks weak on a three-pitch strikeout. No baserunners for either side through two innings.

Rangers 3rd: I jinx the perfecto as Pumpkinhead Mench doubles into the left field corner on the first pitch. Matthews follows with a deep drive (also on the first pitch) that hits off the top of the low bullpen fence in right field for a double. Kapler throws the ball in to Millar, who hesitates before throwing home, and Mench scores. It's hard to say if a quick throw would have been in time. Texas 1-0. Matthews takes third on Alomar's grounder to the mound, but he has to hold when Dellucci flies to short right -- Kapler makes a nice throw home. Young grounds to third.

Red Sox 3rd: With two outs, Kapler homers just over the red line on the Monster. It is called a double, however, and Tito comes out to discuss. Fans on the Wall are all circling their fingers. The four umps get together and decide ..... double. The replay shows the ball clearly landed beyond the Wall -- it hits the Wall and bounces up. Trot Nixon -- who is on the DL, but must have been in the clubhouse watching the replay on TV -- appears in the dugout yelling and gesturing sarcastically at the umps and is ejected. Damon lines out to second. The game should be tied at 1-1, but it's not.

Rangers 4th: 3-4-5 hitters. Teixeira hit an opposite-field single to left. Blalock singles to center, but he's out trying to stretch it into a double, Damon to Graffanino. Teixeira takes third. Soriano pops out to Graffy in short center and Nevin grounds to short. Inning over. (NESN shows George Bush throwing out the first pitch to his wife Barbara, who is having an 80th birthday or something. They can both eat a loaf of shit.)

Red Sox 4th: Edgar starts things off with a single through the infield into left field. Ortiz follows with a ground single past the shift to right. Manny just kills a 1-1 pitch, blasting it way over the Monster onto Landsdowne Street. The umps can't call that a double, so it-s 3-1. HR #32 and 107 RBI for Manny. Millar beats out a grounder to short, as Teixeira is pulled off the bag and Millar slides in head-first. Graffanino belts a ball off the scoreboard for a double, Millar heads to third. Mueller singles to right, Millar scores. Sveum is also waving Graffanino in, but Tony doesn't see him and stops. Brocail up in the Rangers pen. Kapler grounds out to third -- Blalock had time to go home but chooses not to -- and another run scores. Boston 5-1.

Rangers 5th: Arroyo gets the Rangers in order on eight pitches and Rogers is quickly sent back out to the hill.

Red Sox 5th: Edgar K. Ortiz K. Manny walks - Rogers's first BB. And Varitek grounds out to second.

Rangers 6th: Arroyo mimics Rogers. After two strikeouts, he walks Teixeira. Blalock, against the shift, grounds to the left side. Mueller ranges to his right, but has no play, 1st and 2nd with 2 out. Soriano strikes out, still unable (after all these years) to lay off breaking stuff outside.

Red Sox 6th: Brocail relieves Rogers. Mueller singles with two outs and Kapler walks on four pitches, but Damon grounds out.

Rangers 7th: Arroyo gets a 1-2-3 inning: Nevin flies to right, Mench foul pops to first and Matthews grounds to second.

Red Sox 7th: Renteria doubles to left-center. He heads to third on Ortiz's grounder. Ramirez (ccbfbfbfff) walks on 11 pitches, after flicking several fastballs down the right field line. Varitek also works a walk -- on nine pitches; ball four is a wild pitch and Edgar scores. Karsay comes in to face Millar, who bloops a single to short right. It falls in and the bases are loaded for Graffanino. Tony grounds to third. Millar slides early into second, anticipating a force play, but Soriano drops the ball. Millar then dives forward towards the bag, but Soriano recovers in time for the out. Manny scores on the play and it's 7-1.

Rangers 8th: Arroyo starts the inning, but back-to-back doubles bring in Texas's second run. Of their seven hits so far, four are doubles. Myers gets loose. Young flies out to right. Will Tito bring in Myers for Teixeira and Blalock? ... No. Arroyo hits Teixeira, who makes no effort to get out of the way, in the shoulder. Arroyo is pulled, he gets a nice hand, tips his cap. Myers in and Bradford up. Blalock doubles to left towards the corner. Sox's lead is now 7-3. Myers out, Bradford in, Timlin up. Soriano falls behind 0-2, chasing pitches way outside, but battles back to a full count and singles to left field. Teixeira scores, it's 7-4 and Nevin is the tying run at the plate. Bradford gets a grounder to third, but Blalock scores and it's 7-5. Timlin comes in and gets Mench to line out to Manny in shallow left. Nice running, back-handed grab by Ramirez.

Red Sox 8th: Kapler beats out an infield hit to shortstop, as Young sidearm-slings the ball too late. Shouse in. Damon (13-game hitting streak on the line) bloop a single to left-center, Matthews throws wild to third, the pitcher bobbles the ball in foul territory and Damon takes second. Renteria singles to left and Kapler scores. Ortiz hits a sac fly to center and it's 8-5. Gryboski in. Manny rips a single into the left field corner, Renteria goes to third and Manny takes second on the throw in. Varitek is walked intentionally to load the bases for Millar. ... In the Sox pen, Schilling sits down and Delcarmen gets up. ... Millar is 4-for-4 against Gryboski, but he pops the first pitch to second. Boooooo.
Graffanino doubles towards the right field corner, two runs score, and Manny does a little dance right after he crosses the plate. Boston 11-5. Mueller walks on five pitches and the bases are reloaded for Kapler. Gryboski hits him and forces in a run, then he walks Damon, and forces in another run. 13-5. Renteria flies to Matthews in right center, but the ball hits off his glove and three runs score. Nine runs in the inning and Boston leads 16-5.

Rangers 9th: Delcarmen in. Matthews gets a leadoff single to left, but Little Manny strikes out pinch-hitter DeRosa, gets Dellucci to hit into a force play, and then strikes out another pinch-hitter, McDougall, on a high fastball.

The Red Sox have won their last 11 home games and they lead the East by 5.5 games.

We Like Cheaters -- On The Mound

Jayson Stark has a good story at ESPN about how we love cheaters in baseball -- as long as they are pitchers.
For some reason, there is only one form of cheating that seems to offend us anymore. And that is guys who cheat to hit more home runs. Period. No one grumbles about pitchers who scuff up baseballs with their belt buckles and their wedding rings. No one screams about pitchers who fiddle with their cap, wipe their brow, rub their hands through their hair gel and then fire pitches that break three feet.

... This is just a column meant to pose a question we can't answer. This is a column intended to point out the double standard that has always governed our attitude toward cheating in sports. ... "To me," says Phillies closer Billy Wagner, "guys who scuff the ball or put pine tar on the ball -- that's not cheating." And many people -- inside and outside of baseball -- agree. ...

Heck, it's amusing -­ if the right guy does it. Gaylord Perry used to make jokes about doing Vaseline commercials. And nobody cared. Heck, they laughed. ... But if this steroid outrage is really about the criminal act of cheating, then how can we stop there? Either we care about cheating, or we don't. And if we do, how can we justify picking and choosing which crimes are worth prosecuting?
It's a very good question. Fans are also much more open to players bending the rules and/or cheating if it happened many years ago. ... Is it because these players are altering themselves rather than the bats or balls? But players have been taking speed for decades. Is laser eye surgery an unfair advantage? ...

The Red Sox won't need a replacement starter for Wade Miller until Tuesday in Detroit. The team knows who'll start that game, but they aren't talking. Francona said it won't be Curt Schilling. Possibilities include Jeremi Gonzalez, Lenny DiNardo, Abe Alvarez.

Mike Remlinger on being booed last night: "When I grew up here, I figure I booed enough guys that I've got some coming to me." ... Ricky Bottalico threw a scoreless inning last night for Pawtucket. He can void the Sox trade after 10 days if he isn't brought up to the majors. ... The Red Sox have won their last ten home games.

Rogers / Arroyo at 7:00.

G112: Red Sox 8, Rangers 7 (10)

1. Edgah! Two more errors in the field (and he was spared a third thanks to a nice scoop at first by Millar (!)), but Renteria atones with a line drive single down the left field line that scores Mueller with the winning run in extras. ... Did you see the way Manny and Wakefield were pounding on his head in the on-field celebration?!

2. So who do we get when Remlinger is DFA'd? ... He threw 27 pitches to four batters; they all reached base and they all scored. Part of the blame has to go to Francona. While having him pitch in a 7-2 game is ideal, Remlinger isn't so good against lefties. Who did Tito bring him in to face? Dellucci (L), Young (R), Teixeira (S) and Blalock (L). The start of the seventh might have been a better spot for Myers.

3. The score was 7-2 after six innings. After Dellucci doubled and Remlinger walked Young, I said (more as a joke): "We better not win this game 8-7." Laura corrected me: "No, we better not lose this game 8-7." ... After Remlinger and Bradford thoroughly soiled the sheets, Myers did come in to face Dellucci -- nine batters late?

4. The Rangers were all over the basepaths in the first seven frames, though Clement held things together. Myers, Timlin and Schilling retired 10 of the last 11 Texas hitters over the final 3.1 innings.

5. I knew Schilling could pitch three or four innings, so I was pretty sure we'd win. I would have loved a Manny walk-off, or even something from Millar, but really, Renteria deserved to get the game-winner.

6. I have no idea where to put this, so it goes here. In Monday night's SoSH game thread, there was this exchange:
ookami7m: Millar has gone 54 games without a HR - when do the Millar was juiced conversations start?

LahoudOrBillyC: They have already started. I spent the past four days at the SABR convention in Toronto, and was involved in several conversations about 'roids. The people there were from all over the country, and included members of the media, a few club employees. There is no person in baseball more suspected than Millar. This one writer told a group of us that everyone in Florida knew Millar juiced there.
I have noticed that Millar has little more than edge-of-the-warning-track power these days.

7. An arbitrator has shortened Kenny Rogers's suspension to 13 games -- and he and his 2.77 ERA will pitch against Arroyo tonight. ... Look for Yankee Bob to schedule Wells's hearing and subsequent suspension right after Labor Day -- a few days before he's set to face the MFYs.

8. Jose Contreras shut down the Yankees, who lost 2-1. New York trails Boston by 4.5 games -- and are closer to third place than first.

9. Speaking of the Yankees, one of their fans, on a dare, leapt from the upper deck onto the protective screen behind the plate. He and his friends were wondering if it would support his weight. ... Hello, Darwin Awards?

August 9, 2005

Miller On DL; Remlinger Joins Bullpen Tonight

Wade Miller was placed on the disabled list to make room for Mike Remlinger, who is expected to be in the Red Sox bullpen tonight.

Remlinger was DFA'd by the Cubs last Friday. Boston sent minor league pitcher Olivo Astacio to the Cubs. ... Remlinger's stats (which show a clear reverse platoon split) :
2005    AVG   OBP   SLG   OPS
v LHP .326 .396 .488 .884
v RHP .210 .280 .420 .699

v LHP .303 .347 .500 .847
v RHP .191 .296 .206 .502
2002-04 AVG   OBP   SLG   OPS
v LHP .266 .329 .428 .757
v RHP .184 .289 .273 .562
2005    IP    H  BB   K  WHIP   OBP
v LHP 10.1 14 5 10 1.84 .396
v RHP 22.2 17 7 20 1.06 .289
Ricky Bottalico was assigned to Pawtucket. He posted a 4.54 ERA in 40 games for Milwaukee, though his ERA over his last eight appearances was 10.13.

G111: Red Sox 11, Rangers 6

Tony Graffanino had quite a night. He reached base four times (including a three-run home run), drove in four runs, and scored three times, including from second base on Johnny Damon's infield hit. He also stole a base and made a nice running catch in foul territory near the tarp.

With Mark Bellhorn struggling in Pawtucket, I can't see Graff losing the 2B job. But I also can't see Bellhorn being productive on the Boston bench. I wouldn't have any confidence in him as a pinch-hitter, he's not really fast, and his defense is so-so at best. So if I don't like him on the bench, why should Bellhorn be in the lineup?

Manny Ramirez's hustle led to an early Boston run. Wade Miller put the Sox in a quick hole by allowing three runs in the top of the first inning (he's allowed 18 first-inning runs in 16 starts). After David Ortiz got two back with a home run to right, Ramirez and Jason Varitek walked. Kevin Millar flew out to left, and Manny tagged and hustled to third. He scored the tying run easily on Roberto Petagine's single to center.

Bill Mueller, who was batting second in last night's original lineup, was scratched with back spasms and a call was made to Pawtucket. Kevin Youkilis was playing cards in the clubhouse when he got the news. "At first, they said I was going to play," said Youkilis. "But they didn't want me to drive too fast. So I just packed up all my stuff, put it all in the car, drove up here, got here about 6:30 and walked in to the clubhouse and basically put on my cleats and jersey. I had the same pants I was bringing back and forth. I had my BP top on. Took that off and put on a jersey and I was ready to go."

Youkilis hit .350 (with a .468 OBP) in his last 34 games in Pawtucket. ... Alex Cora started at third -- he went 2-for-3 with a walk.

The roster continues to change. ... Jose Cruz Jr. was designated for assignment after only nine days and 12 at-bats. ... The Red Sox have signed relief pitchers Mike Remlinger (who was DFA'd by the Cubs) and Ricky Bottalico. ... Manny Delcarmen will likely be sent back to Pawtucket and Jeremi Gonzalez (?) will be let go. If Bottalico is being sent to AAA first, then I guess Gonzalez will stay. He's been a decent long-man; he pitched 2.2 innings last night and got credit for the win.

Trot Nixon and Keith Foulke worked out early yesterday afternoon. Nixon hit off a batting tee and ran "spring training sprints" and Foulke threw 25 pitches off a mound. ... John Olerud also took batting practice. ... Manny Ramirez went 8-for-15 (.533) with three home runs, five runs scored and a league-leading 10 RBIs in five games and was named AL Player of the Week.

In Yankeeland, Randy Johnson's back is acting up and he may not start on Saturday. And Carl Pavano might be lost for the rest of this season. Thank goodness they've got Hideo Nomo. Heh.

Clement / Benoit at 7:00.

August 8, 2005

G110: Red Sox 11, Twins 7

They won. That's the bottom line.

August 7, 2005

G109: Twins 4, Red Sox 3

Ugh. More errors and another loss. ... A sleepy Tito leaves Wells in -- and doesn't even get anyone up -- for five consecutive singles in the sixth as the 3-0 lead is pissed away. This slow hook and non-existent call to the pen is becoming a disturbing habit. Wells was allegedly annoyed that he wasn't allowed to pitch the seventh. Memo to Wells: You'd prolong your outing if you didn't give up six hits and three runs in an inning.

Gordon Edes estimates that Keith Foulke could be back in two or three weeks. His success will determine when and if Curt Schilling returns to the rotation. ... Mark Bellhorn went 2-for-6 with a double, two RBIs, and two runs scored for the PawSox (he's now 2-for-22).

Johnny Damon -- who will likely get this afternoon's game off -- currently has an 11-game hit streak (along with streaks of 18 and 29 games this year). He leads the AL with a .341 average and could be Boston's fifth batting champ in six seasons. ... The home run droughts of Kevin Millar (142 at-bats) and Edgar Renteria (138 at-bats) continue. ... Former Marlins lefthander Matt Perisho was signed and sent to Pawtucket.

Rob Bradford of the Lowell Sun spoke with Fenway scoreboard operator Mike Gavin:
Manny was sitting there [on a dingy stoop just inside the entrance to the scoreboard] because we all thought there was a pitching change. ... Finally we looked and someone yelled, 'He's not coming out of the game!' Manny just jumped up and went back out there. It has gotten blown way out of proportion with Manny. This has just become kind of his hangout.
If you watch the tape of Manny going into the Wall, the operator is busy taking down the Red Sox pitcher number -- as they do when a pitcher is relieved.

Damon, on Sheffield's recent comments about who the leader of the Yankees is: "Jeter and A-Rod, we feel blessed when we get those two guys out. Sheff, we don't expect to get him out. We feel he's always going to hit the ball hard."

Theo Epstein, in Bob Ryan's article on The Stolen Base That We Will Never Get Tired Of Reading About:
I was sitting behind the plate with our people. I was thinking how unfortunate it all was. It just wasn't right. This team had accomplished a lot. I thought we had the best team in baseball. And I was thinking, 'Why us?' ... As soon as Millar dropped his bat on the plate, I think everyone knew what would be coming next. We just needed the visualization. And then Roberts came out of the dugout.

August 6, 2005

Saturday Stuff

Manny Ramirez gets a lot of shit for his fielding foibles, but Johnny Damon's misplay of Lew Ford's first-inning triple last night was as brutal as any of Manny's miscues. Damon has had problems with losing balls against the Metrodome roof in the past, and this time, the ball sailed over his head. After crashing into the wall (naturally), Damon then bobbled the ball like a kitten playing with a ball of string. It really should have been a double and an error.

The rest of that inning was no better, as Kevin Millar was caught with nowhere to throw Jacques Jones's little roller and Bronson Arroyo's error brought in three runs. ... The Red Sox allowed more unearned runs than they got hits. ... The whitewash was Boston's worst shutout loss in more than 15 years (Milwaukee 13-0, July 23, 1990). ... Also, I was miffed to not see Roberto Petagine at first base against the righty Radke.

No NESN last night and the FSN guys (Bert Blyleven was one of them) were clearly unaccustomed to the Twins doing anything with their bats -- in the 22 games since the All-Star break, Minnesota had scored three or fewer runs 14 times and batted a collective .220. Every extra-base hit or run scored was announced with the level of excitement that is usually reserved for the final out of a no-hitter or a pennant-clinching home run. ... They also referred to Arroyo as "Branson." Somewhere, Tim McCarver was scratching his head.

Bellhorn Watch: He's now 0-for-16 with seven strikeouts in four games with the PawSox. ... The Yankees beat Toronto 6-2 -- with two outs in the bottom of the 9th, and runners at first and second, Torre pulled Sturtze and went to Rivera! -- and are 3.5 games behind.

Alan Schwarz on Roger Clemens and how surgery in 1985 saved his career:
I asked [Dr. James] Andrews to consider what might have happened had Clemens been born just 10 years earlier and hurt his shoulder before the scalpel gave way to the arthroscope. "We probably wouldn't have been able to fix it," Andrews says sadly. "He probably would have fallen by the wayside."
Speaking of Clemens -- whose amazing season is not getting the ink it deserves -- Dayn Perry at BP writes that the TCM, Andy Pettitte and Roy Oswalt could end this season as the best pitching trio in baseball history, according to Runs Prevented (the runs a pitcher has kept from scoring relative to a league-average hurler throwing the same number of innings)(the 2005 number is projected):
    Pitchers                   Team          Total RP
1. Clemens-Pettitte-Oswalt 2005 Astros 166.9*
2. Donohue-Luque-Rixey 1925 Reds 161.8
3. Lewis-Young-Winter 1901 Red Sox 159.4
4. Mathewson-McGinnity-Taylor 1904 Giants 155.6
5. Gomez-Pearson-Ruffing 1937 Yankees 154.3
6. Earnshaw-Grove-Walberg 1931 A's 149.4
7. Brown-Overall-Reulbach 1909 Cubs 148.7
8. Dineen-Young-Winter 1902 Red Sox 145.7
9. Ames-Mathewson-McGinnity 1903 Giants 143.1
10. Benton-Rixey-Luque 1923 Reds 140.2

August 5, 2005

G108: Twins 12, Red Sox 0

The top run-scoring team in major league baseball is shut out, while the American League's most anemic lineup scores 12 times?

It's outrageous, egregious, preposterous!

On To Minnesota

Terry Francona on Manny Ramirez and his blurred vision: "His eye is real red. I don't think it's a scratch. It's just got a little blood. ... I think as far as the future, he's all right." ... I hope he's back in the lineup tonight.

Here's one of Jose Melendez's three potential marketing opportunities for Ramirez and "Manny being Manny":
This is Manny Ramirez of the Boston Red Sox. Like a lot of you, I'm a big fan of the fine arts. But when I want some culture, I'm not looking for pointillism, cubism, Dadaism or any of this modernist crap. That's why I like to visit the impressionist galleries at the Museum of Fine Arts. Because at the MFA it's just Manet Being Manet.
Curt Schilling on his current role:
I'm enjoying the fact that I'm getting out there every night. I want to get back into the rotation. That's my goal. [Relieving is] as fun as it can be. It's like anything else; it's fun when you win and it's not when you lose. Given the way things are going right now, this is what has to happen. ... I think it's helping from a sharpness standpoint, refining and feeling my pitches. At some point I'm going to have to go out and throw three or four innings to get back and be able to work; I can't do some of the things I do between starts to build my stamina.
The Red Sox have won a season-high eight in a row and 12 of their last 15. ... Jason Varitek's first career grand slam came in his 120th AB with the bases loaded. It was the Sox's 11th slam of the season, three shy of the major league mark set by Oakland in 2000. ... Mark Bellhorn is 0-12 in three games with Pawtucket. ... A report on El Guapo.

Sox are Kings of the Road:
On its tour through 12 cities, the self-styled posse of scruffy idiots is leading Major League Baseball in road attendance, a category the Yankees have won the last three seasons. ... Through Wednesday's games, Boston's 56 road dates averaged 38,673 in attendance, more than the Yankees' 38,140 average in 51 games. The Yankees have the record for road attendance, 3.3 million, set last year.
In New York, it's just Gary being Gary:
Gary Sheffield has news for Yankee fans: Derek Jeter ain't the leader of this pack. "I know who the leader is on the team," Sheffield said in an explosive New York magazine interview set to hit newsstands Monday.

"I ain't going to say who it is, but I know who it is. I know who the team feeds off. I know who the opposing team comes in knowing they have to defend to stop the Yankees. ... Why shouldn't I tell the truth? I ain't trying to get no Pepsi commercial."
The Yankees are in Toronto and the Red Sox play in Minnesota:
Tonight: Bronson Arroyo / Brad Radke, 8:00
Saturday: David Wells / Johan Santana, 7:00
Sunday: Tim Wakefield / Joe Mays, 2:00