August 7, 2004

The Most Frustrating Red Sox Season Ever? The posters at Sons of Sam Horn discuss. And there are tons of good points, for both sides, as well as some analysis of the Yankees' performance. One poster thinks the 2004 Yankees are like the 2003 Red Sox in their almost-nightly ability to rally when behind. ... By contrast, the Red Sox seem dead if they lose a lead or are trailing after the 6th inning. Most of the same players from 2003 are still here, so I don't really understand the difference.

If 2004 is the most frustrating season (I'm not convinced (yet)), it's because of pre-season expectations. We saw management remove the one and only reason Boston failed to go to the World Series and they added Schilling and Foulke. We all agreed: This was the most-talented Red Sox team of our lifetimes.

I'll support this team until the very end of the season -- whichever day in October that may be -- and I'll watch every pitch of every game that I can, but this summer hasn't been a whole lot of fun. I've said this before -- even the victories have left me pissed off. Last year, I felt good even after a loss.

The Red Sox are now 7-15 in one-run games -- and their last 4 losses have all been by one run. Only Arizona (6) has fewer one-run victories. New York is 19-11. What's most amazing/frustrating is that based on their runs scored/runs allowed, the Red Sox should be leading the East by 1½ games. Some of the SoSH threads I have linked to recently get into that gross discrepancy.

Garciaparra, on when he injured his Achilles: "I don't even know what story they're coming up with. I'm curious as to what they're saying. I hurt it in spring training, there's no question about that. That's when it happened. I was already a week and a half into spring training, everything was fine ... I got hurt, I got hit." ... However, no one saw Nomar get hit in the foot and the person who hit the ball has yet to come forward. ... If there is any movement on this story, you can be sure that Boston Dirt Dogs will have it first.

Oops, he did it again. In the 4th inning, Doug Mientkiewicz tried to score from first on Bill Mueller's double and was thrown out at the plate. And once again, we have Francona defended Sveum: "It was just a perfect relay. That's what it took. I would have sent him all the way."

Mike Myers joined the team yesterday, adding another lefty arm that Francona might actually use instead of Embree. Lefties had hit only .188 (6-for-32) off Mark Malaska, but Francona had not used him since July 24. He was sent back to Pawtucket. Likewise, Ramiro Mendoza and Terry Adams have not pitched since the first game of the road trip 11 days ago. ... Tito seems determined to ride the Foulke-Embree-Timlin trio right into the ground, Gerbil78-style.

SoSHer Eric Van on Tito's Friday night blunders. As one poster in that thread comments, it seems like Francona is always two or three steps behind every Red Sox fan when it comes to strategy and knowing what this team can (and cannot) do. That's not where you expect the manager of a team to be. ... Another poster puts forth the argument that the Red Sox cannot -- and will not -- win anything with Francoma at the helm.

Also: Scott Williamson had an excellent outing for Pawtucket on Friday -- 1.2 scoreless innings, 1 hit, 3 strikeouts, 23 pitches, 17 strikes. ... Boston will play 30 of its final 53 games at home, where they have the 3rd-best record in MLB (33-18). ... Brian Cashman's wife, quoted in the August 9 issue of New York magazine: "Brian would like to go to Boston and win a World Series as general manager of the Red Sox." I'm sure Steinbrenner loved hearing that!

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