July 13, 2006

G87: Athletics 5, Red Sox 4 (11)

Scattered notes (mostly on the jaw-dropping idiocy of ESPN2's Gary Thorne and Buck Martinez):

ESPN2 begins its broadcast with a solid five minutes of Manny bashing. Thorne and Martinez both agree that yes, Manny's knee has been an issue for the Red Sox all season, his knee has been bothering him, sure, etc., etc., etc., but "bottom line: we all know he could have gone" to the All-Star Game.

Martinez pronounces Papi's name wrong all night long: David OR-tiz. (like gettin' arrested by the PO-lease.)

Ramirez's first AB in the first inning -- he gets a nice hand, as always, but ESPN2 can't let it pass. Thorne: "They like Manny being Manny." ... Martinez: "Well, they've gotten used to it." ... The explanation that follows is that Sox fans didn't like Manny until a few years ago, but now that the Sox have been winning, they like him now. ... Remember: This is how other media and casual baseball fans get their Sox information.

Jon Lester is like Houdini at getting out of jams, but he's still throwing too many pitches. His count over five innings: 26-23-17 21-16 = 103.

Sometime around the third inning, Thorne admits that he now thinks players who DH should be considered for MVP. He talks about Ortiz's home runs and RBI and game-winning hits and says "He's just playing by the rules." ... I guess it was against the rules last year.

ESPN2 talks about Mike Lowell having a bad 2005 and Theo Epstein seeing a player he could get on the cheap. Theo supposedly said: "You can play defense. I believe in you." ... However, Lowell was a throw-in on the Beckett deal, the player we had to take to get the deal done. And as it turns out, Theo didn't even make that trade. It occurred during the time he was not with the club. So Thorne gets every aspect of the story wrong.

Martinez: "Manny has a game plan and he never deviates from it." So Ramirez never makes any adjustments at the plate? He just stubbornly sticks with his pre-conceived plan. Oooookay, Buck.

In the 6th inning, Buck explains: "We get the impression that Manny just gets in the box and is a free swinger." What do you mean "we", idiot? Manny has never been that type of player. And I thought you said earlier that Ramirez has a plan when he comes to the plate. So if that was true, he wouldn't be a free swinger then, would he?

In a game filled with praise for Jason Varitek's catching ability (any good pitch Lester made was described as "That's all Varitek right there."), Buck praises Tek's "ability to put the ball in play" after he singles in the 3rd inning. Jeez. If Varitek can't put the ball in play, he should be serving beers in the concourse.

Martinez: "The Sox have left 11 men on base this game." ... Thorne: "Obviously, the Red Sox are not used to that happening." Um, riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

Thorne claims that the Boston papers don't write "Manny being Manny" anymore, they just write "MBM".

Ramirez makes a nice over-the-shoulder catch at the wall in left-center for the first out of the ninth. Martinez: "He made that look pretty easy, didn't he?" ... Thorne: "His knee didn't look to be a problem there." ... Afterwards, they try to take the high road, saying how Manny took a great route to the ball and he's a bit underrated in the field. Too late, assholes.

After Willie Harris gets picked off in the bottom of the ninth, Thorne channels Tim McCarver: "Boston had the Big Dig; that didn't proof to be very successful. Harris had the big lead; that didn't proof to be very successful."

Finally: Why didn't Papelbon come out for the 11th? He had thrown 18 pitches in the tenth. Why go to the shitty arms right away? Julian Being Julian. Another gut punch of a loss.

Feel free to remind ESPN that their announcers are ignorant and offensive.

Example

***

Esteban Loaiza (6.43) / Jon Lester (3.06), 7 PM

Both New York and Toronto are off tonight.

15 comments:

Zenslinger said...

Yet again, just keeping track on the Internet, but it seems that Lester is trying to redefine one of the most basic concepts of baseball: that a pitcher cannot succeed without throwing strikes!

It's like he has a pocket full of
Free Double Play cards in his pocket.

brian said...

The only second guessing I'm going to do is ask why Delcarmen start the 7th? How many times is Tito going to trot a middle reliever out there for a 2nd inning and wait for it to become shaky before making a move.
Obviously if Loretta makes the play we end the inning up 3-2. Still, I'd rather see MDC start a fresh, clean inning.

It doesn't matter too much though. Can't have 14 LOB an expect to win.

Jack Marshall said...

Redsock: Bingo regarding Papelbon...3 days off, he's young, with a starter's arm. He can't go two innings? Ridiculous. And if he does, the Sox win.

Lowell is "cheap talent"? I watched the game on NESN, but hell, everybody knows the Sox got Lowell precisely because he WASN'T cheap..he gets 9 mil a year!
Thorne is awful, but outside of Miller, all the ESPN pbp men are.

Yaz-Tex said...

Funny, I fully expected Tito not to send Hansen out for the 7th as he had breezed through the 6th. I did expect that at the first sign of trouble in the 7th (e.g., lead-off single) that he'd be out of there. Wrong. Tito seems determined to never appropriate the moniker of Captain Hook - better to cook 'em too long than take 'em out of the fire too early.

This was at least the second time this year when Willie Mays Hays Harris has been picked off first in the 9th with the team down by a run. Packing a robust .159 BA, Harris seems to be little more than a latter day Herb Washington, except for the maddening propensity to waste his one tool (speed) when we need it most.

Finally, was I the only one wondering why Tito didn't send in Cora to run for Tek after he singled in the bottom of the 11th? Unless Mirabelli was down for repairs (and therefore unavailable to catch the 12th if we tied it), why did Francona keep the plow horse at first AS THE TYING RUN when we needed someone with wheels to go first to home?

WTF?! Is there a code in the official scorebook for managerial indifference?

truth said...

Good luck with the whole "tell ESPN2 what you think of the announcers" thing.

Soccer fans didn't like the old announcers so ESPN gave us Dumb and Dumber (Dave O'Brien and Marcelo Balboa) for the World Cup. Worst announcing duo in the history of sports broadcasting. (My favorite dumb factoid from them: Did you know that every World Cup winner since 1950 won their quarterfinal match? Stunning fact given that it's a knockout competition. Sheesh.)

I'll be watching soccer on Univision from now on. I suggest turning off the ESPN2 sound & putting on the radio. (like we used to do back in the 80s. Nothing like Johnny Most screaming from the stereo speakers.)

Jack Marshall said...

The sad fact,as we discovered when Curt Gowdy left the Sox for the networks and suddenly turned banal, is that the national baseball audience is a lot less critical and a lot less sophisticated AND especially a lot less passionate than the Boston audience. So they can dumb down the broadcasts, and perhaps they have to.
But there's even a limit to dumb,and Thorne, Suttcliffe, Berman (my personal beta noir) and Martinez are reaching it.

Peter N said...

It looks like Tito would be wise in removing Hansen after 1. The diff. in ERA after that is amazing. That was my post today. And then Fox ran it....jeez. We win tonight. Beckett at Fenway so far? Nice!
I'm in a sorta new place as well as my blog, which you can get to by clicking on my name. That would be www.dugoutpress.com/redsox Any feedback/comments would be so great!

stefan said...

Lester is such a weird situation pitcher. Might he thrive under pressure?

Stats, IP/WHIP/BAA. From least to most pressure, IMHO.

None on, 1 or 2 outs, 8/2.13/.250. None on, no outs, 7.2/2.09/.361. With no one on, he's downright lousy.

Runners on, 21.2/1.25/.209. RISP w/ 2 out, 5.0/1.20/.118. RISP, 12.0/1.25/.176. Bases loaded, 4.0/0.25/.000.

With runners on, he's good. In "clutch" situations - also known as jams - he's ice cold.

So, is he lucky, or good when it counts? If the former, it'll be a long second half. If the latter, the playoffs will be sweet.

Daedalus said...

I fail to see how a guy can play 19 innings in one game on an "injured" knee. Manny had it coming to him.

Jere said...

It's not just the national broadcasts, as Michael Kay would gladly tell the tens of millions of viweres in the NY-area that the Green Monster is orange, and most people would believe him. And he wouldn't be fired.

Devine said...

People play through injury all the time, daedalus. I fail to see how, let's say, Schilling could have pitched 7 innings against the Yankees in the playoffs with a completely busted leg.

redsock said...

Hansen was starting and going 3-4 innings in Pawtucket. He wasn't a one inning only guy. I don't think this is indicative of anything.

L-girl said...

I fail to see how a guy can play 19 innings in one game on an "injured" knee.

You do? Then you don't know much about sports. Professional athletes play on injuries all the time.

L-girl said...

Good luck with the whole "tell ESPN2 what you think of the announcers" thing.

It's always worth it to tell a network what you think. After all, we're the consumers - they should hear from us. Especially when there are specific complaints, like the Manny-bashing - as opposed to just "You guys suck!"

redsock said...

It's bizarre that anyone who has watched Schilling, Foulke, Wells, Clement, Renteria, Mueller and Damon over the last two years would think that atheltes don't play hurt.