Thursday, June 29, 2006

A strange feeling

Well before the series started, I did wonder what kind of treatment Pedro would get - I knew I differentiated between 7 years of artistic genius and 4 years of... well idiocy, between a Mets uniform and... well those pinstriped pj's, but clearly not everyone felt the same way.

But having watched the amazing reception that he received last night, thoughts turned to what it would actually be like to see Pedro pitch against his 'real' team - part of me wanted to see vintage Pedro, fueled by his continuing resentment (right or wrong) that the Sox didn't re-sign him, part of me just wanted to see this amazing run against the NL just keep on rolling.

Reading a few other places, the most common theme seemed to be, huge ovation, followed by... Pedro leaving shortly thereafter... and as it turned out, those wishes were granted. Pedro left after three long innings, having given up 8 runs (6 earned - presumably the Sox weren't overly concerned about Milledge's defensive skills when they looked to include him in any Manny deal with the Mets) and generally pitching as badly as we have ever seen him.

And if I am being honest... I really didn't enjoy the experience, I didn't like seeing him turn his back on home plate to watch another hit dropping, I got mad at the small section of the Fenway faithful who tried to start the taunting Pe-dro chant that should be rightfully reserved for Ro-ger... I guess I just didn't like seeing our hero look so ordinary.

But... the Sox just keep on winning, and no part of me can object to that!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Peter Gammons

The first story I saw when I got home this evening was of the condition of Peter Gammons. To understand what has happened I turned here.

Gammons clearly has a soft spot for the Sox, he was born and raised in the Nation, and first came to prominance with his work at the Boston Globe - introducing the now standard Baseball Notes style column - before moving on to Sports Illustrated, and eventually to his recent TV and web work for ESPN. To British baseball fans, unable to access the Globe online as easily as we can today when he worked there, Gammons is probably best known for that ESPN work, but a little bit of searching, and a few dollars, allows you to access some of his work online, and appreciate the quality of that work.

The 7-year-old's first vision of Fenway Park has never faded. He never forgets June 28, 1952, the first time he walked up the ramp to the right of home plate, came to the opening and froze.

Baseball, as in all dreams, had always been black and white. The game was learned from voices on a radio, newspaper clippings, stories handed down by brother and mother, Sport and Baseball and Street & Smith's and the occasional snowy 10-inch television images. Then the 7-year-old first gazed at Fenway and the solarium green that made the white uniforms stand out in 3-D, the distinctly crisp pops and crackles of baseballs against leather and wood, the 11:30 everglades hummock cool and, most of all, The Wall.

Boston Globe, April 4, 1986

Peter Gammons was that 7 year old in 1952, and has clearly never lost his love of America's pastime.

The 'ultimate' public recognition of his work saw his election to the writer's wing of the Hall of Fame in 2005. You can read the full transcript of his induction speech here, but that same message was contained in that speech.

"I am here today because I found what I love."

Let's all hope that Peter is back on ESPN soon covering the game that he has always loved.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Thank you!

When one man keeps doing something that you know to be difficult, with such incredible ease, it is hard to find the appropriate words to use.

I could say this, or this or even this, but whatever words you chose, and Red Sox fans are out there looking for them, you just have to thank whoever you want to thank, that David Americo Ortiz pulls on red socks when he goes to work each day.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Sox win again, Yankees beat Howard

Well the Sox batters keep pounding away - all but one starter contributing a run or an RBI, and all but one starter chipping in at least a hit. If only we played in the NL East... we might be more than 2 games up on the Mets!

The bigger story today was Francona publicly stating that the time has arrived for the young arms in the pen - the proof will now be in his bullpen usage. Hansen pitched two innings tonight and looked very good, albeit that he gave up a couple of cheap runs in the 9th on defensive swings.

Down in Philadelphia, Arthur Rhodes again proved that no manager should ever bring him into a game against the Yankees where the manager actually wants to win that game. Ryan Howard proved that you shouldn't make mistake pitches against him - 2HR and a triple driving in all 7 of the Phillies run, although he was the final out in a 2 inning outing by Mo with 2 men on in the 9th - hopefully the Phillies fans booed him to keep up their rep!

Arthur Rhodes career line (yet another hat tip to David Pinto's day-by-day database) prior to tonight's 4 runs without retiring a hitter effort:






v. NYY






v. MLB






Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The end of the Kyle Snyder era

Well as one night "hope and pray" starts go, that wasn't too bad by Kyle Snyder.

His pitching line - 5IP, 4H, 3ER, 6K, 0BB - was really as good as we could possibly have hoped for, and the bullpen decided that they had provided enough excitement in Atlanta, and pitched 4 innings of 0 run ball, giving Snyder the win in his (hopefully... please) only Red Sox start of the year... unless he proves in Pawtucket that he has something that wasn't evident to the Kansas City Royals. Although perhaps the Sox put more weight on the 43/9 K to BB ratio in the minors this year, as an indicator of potential, than the Royals did by looking at his 2 innings of work 10 days ago against the Rangers.

But it shouldn't be forgotten that this was against one of the NL's weaker line-ups, and you have to hope that the Sox don't use this start as evidence that the Sox can maintain a 5 man rotation through to July 1st (when they should next require a 5th man).

The Sox offense was very balanced - 4 players returned 2 hits apiece, the other 5, 1 hit each. One of Manny's 2 hits on the night was his 18th HR of the season, moving him ahead of Yaz (and Jim Thome... at least for today) on the all time home run list, and into a tie with Gary Sheffield for 28th place on the all time list with #453 - another moon shot over the wall in LF. Thankfully the other side of Manny that was on display tonight didn't hurt us - for some reason Manny didn't think that Mark Loretta, trying to score from 2nd on a single to shallow CF by David Ortiz in the 4th, would benefit from Manny's advice on whether he needed to slide home or not, and was tagged out standing up at the plate... as Manny watched from the on-deck circle!

What is that Manny phrase again?

Monday, June 19, 2006

Sweetness and light are restored...

The top of the 8th really didn't start well...
  • Ortiz... K
  • Ramirez... K
Since then, not so bad!
  • Nixon... walk
  • Varitek... walk
  • Crisp... single, Nixon scores
  • Lowell... double, Varitek scores, Crisp scores (from 1st, showing the speed that he showed off in those very first days of the season)
  • Cora... single, Lowell scores
  • Youkilis... HR, Cora scores, Youkilis scores
  • Loretta... single
  • Ortiz... HBP
  • Ramirez... pop up
  • 6 runs, 5 hits, 0 errors
So 11 men come to bat, and Ortiz and Ramirez account for all three outs.

Shorter and not so sweet

Aren't you glad we traded David Riske for a left hander that can't seem to do anything but walk the left handed guys he is brought in to face... but with career BB / 9 - numbers like these, you wouldn't have expected this of him...

I for one am very glad that we traded David Riske because we wanted to give more opportunities for Rudy Seanez to find himself...

(And for those of you who want to hang on to the ESPN 'it wasn't a bad pitch' excuse, he missed the target by a good two feet)

Short and sweet

I appreciate that is a baseball blog, and not many of you come here to read thoughts on the US Open golf, but... damn... will Monty ever have another great chance to break his major duck? He doesn't need to win a major to cap his career, but the list of players ahead of him on the greatest player never to win a major must be pretty short.

Because I am down, short and sweet...
  • Sometimes, a 3 game sweep in Minnesota is just about meeting the wrong team at the wrong time... 7 wins in a row (and for that matter, Yankees and Oakland... 10 in a row). When do our teams meet the suddenly hot Marlins?
  • I may have mentioned this in a previous post but Joe Morgan really isn't much of a fan of the Sox. ESPN's K-Zone, brought to you by whichever company wants to cough up the cash so none of us can remember their name, is an excellent tool - great at showing that Kevin Youkilis has been called out twice now on balls outside the zone... Joe's comment... "that slider is really bothering Youkilis"... really Joe, I think being called out on balls two plate appearances in a row might be part of it...
  • In the umpire's defense he is calling every ball in that spot a strike...
  • Everyone agrees, the Sox need starting pitching at the deadline, particularly given that the status of David Wells is so uncertain, and the form of Matt Clement when he comes back is so... uncertain. Looking at it sensibly though, who can the Sox trade for that is a true upgrade, without giving away more than we would really want them to do for a 3-month rental..?
  • I guess the most likely candidate is a salary dump, where the salary part is more important than the return part... that list might include the Angels Jeff Weaver, the Braves John Smoltz (although I guess the Braves will want a significant return, and I am mentioning him only because he mentioned the trade possibility himself), Greg Maddux (or Kerry Wood), the Giants Jason Schmidt (again I presume the Giants will want a significant return), the Nationals Livian Hernandez and the Twins pair Brad Radke and Kyle Lohse. There are a majority of the names on that list I woldn't want the Sox to touch...
  • However... our starter tomorrow...

Friday, June 16, 2006

HGH - It's not my fault!

Bug Selig has written an open letter to the fans and for those who are too lazy to follow the link, this is the very brief recap. We are disappointed a player (Jason Grimsley) has admitted using HGH. He is committed to keeping the game clean (although turning a blind eye to the steroid problem in the late 90's doesn't seem like a total commitment to me). Working hard to make sure the game is clean, no accurate test for HGH is available just yet and most importantly, if there's a big problem, it has nothing to do with him.

Whilst Neil H and I have good hearty discussions about the abilities of Peter Crouch and our disagreements over the Posada HBP and Randy's high and tight retaliation, there is this one big story bubbling underneath ready to explode. The big question is do we really care about HGH and steroids? I'm not sure we do, I'd like to think all baseball players are clean. I like to think all records are clean, but in the back of the mind I kind of expect that the person that holds these records (in all types of sport) are probably bending the rules at the very least.

Maybe I'm just becoming more and more of a cynic in my old age, but all sports will always be inhabited by a certain amount of cheats, using the latest undetectable aid to beat the opposition. It happened in swimming, in athletics, in boxing and it happens in baseball. I'm starting to just not care and just feel like giving up on my idealist ideal of sport in general.

For the prosecution, exhibits 154, 155 and 156...

So we score two runs....

we re-load the bases...

and deciding not to let our starting catcher and his .143 batting average come to the plate, we send up the captain...

who after a night on the bench, decides that the first pitch he sees, will be the best pitch he sees...


But according to Joe, there was good reason to swing at that first pitch, because there was no reason to look for a walk...

so keeping the inning going, regardless of how, is less valuable than making a first pitch out according to our man in the ESPN booth... seriously?


I alluded to this a couple of games ago, but seriously, how long do you let someone bat .143 on a major league team?

but Neil, you fool, he is there to catch Wakefield, to stop the passed balls and wild pitches that Josh Bard couldn't...

except - he isn't doing that either, so how long do you stick with it?


Our latest acquisition has just entered the game - a LOOGY to take over from Myers - Francona decided this was needed after Foulke went on the DL...

And following up the 4 pitch walk, the newby gives up another hit to allow the Twins to get an insurance run...

Somewhere in the mists of time, I wrote a post under the heading... never blog angry... lather, rinse, repeat...

Not much fun

This team is not much fun to watch at the moment - not because of the lack of home runs that Joe Morgan (is it just this tired Sox fan, or does Joe consistently play down the achievements of the Red Sox - I heard him once say that he was bitter that people don't remember the 1975 World Series for the Reds win, but for Fisks walk-off the day before, and I just wonder if that is it?) mentioned tonight, but because they are doing so many ugly things at the same time.

Carlos Silva came into this game with a 7.73 ERA and a 2-8 record - just what a team that has scored 3 runs in its last 21 innings needed... just be patient with him and let the lineup do the normal damage right... well here we are at 28 innings, and still only 3 runs scored.

We have guys hacking at first pitches, we have guys grounding into double plays to kill innings, we have home run balls hitting off the roof and dropping in for singles...

And of course we let Silva cruise through 6+ innings, throwing only 70 pitches...


And the Twins have just hit Cora in the top of the 8th - clearly not meant... perhaps we can get a pitcher to "retaliate" to prove that he has testicles and get himself a 5 game suspension as well - would Yankee fans not rather that Randy actually pitched well in games that matter to prove he was a true Yankee, than (try to) hit a career .250 hitter in June because the catcher threw his dummy out of the pram... well apparently, no... these Yankees aren't taking anymore BS... pity they are only the tied 6th most hit team in the majors... and none of that is because Jeter hangs his hands over the center of the plate on a day to day basis...

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Finally the Yanks retaliate

The Yanks have been getting beat up all year by opposition pitchers and we all wondered when the Yankees would finally snap, last night Randy Johnson did, but it a productive way. After Jorge Posada was hit by a Jason Johnson fastball, the Yankee catcher barked at the pitcher, for some stupid reason both benches were warned. It may not of been intentional but the Bombers seem to be getting hit day in, day out at the moment and I'm not surprised JoPo wasn't overly amused.

Next inning and Randy buzzed one up and in and was promptly thrown out of the game along with Joe Torre. It was an important moment in most Yankee fans eyes as Randy finally looked nasty, he finally looked like the filthy ace of a staff he was brought in to be. He was daring hitters all night as he threw the pitches that made him famous, a nice potent fastball and a slider that fell away. He moved to 8-5 on the season but he defended his catcher, he showed that he was ready to be a team player and turned the jeers and taunts of the crowd into hearty cheers as he departed after 6 1/3 innings of four hit, one run ball and prompted hopes of a corner being turned.

The Yankees offense finally got to Jason Johnson in the 4th when Jeter lead off with a single and Giambi rattled one off the RCF wall for a double. A-Rod scored Jeter from 3rd on a groundout and Cano brought Giambi to the plate with a two out opposite field RBI single. Damon and Andy Phillips would both go deep in the 5th and 6th innings respectively to give the home side more than enough offense to win. Scott Proctor and Ron Villone pitched 2 2/3 innings of scoreless ball to preserve the victory.

The Red Sox went down to the Twinkies thus putting the Yankees in sole possession of first place in the AL East. Mike Mussina goes for the Bombers tonight as he looks to take his win tally to nine for the season.

Monday, June 12, 2006

A-Rod - Did he or didn't he?

Alex Rodriguez is arguably the best player of his generation. He is on course to challenge Hank's all time HR record, he has the looks of a superstar, he has the wallet of a superstar, he has the jet set lifestyle of a superstar, and yet all he wants is to be loved and respected for being a great baseball player, and this my friends is where he made one terrible mistake.

By signing for the New York Yankees.

It wasn't his fault that he got offered a 10 yr/$252m contract was it? I think it is highly likely that any of us would've been thrilled to see a piece of paper float on to our desks with those type of figures on and we'd of scrambled to find a pen to sign it before it disappeared again. It wasn't his fault that because of his huge contract, the Rangers were unable to buy any good pitching that would turn them into a contender.

So A-Rod wanted to leave Texas, which was probably a good thing for both parties. The Rangers needed his contract off their books so they could build a contender and A-Rod wanted to contend, everyone is happy. So here is one of the greatest Shortstops off all time looking for a new home, now over in Boston, they see this as a great coup. A deal to send A-Rod to the Red Sox is agreed with Manny going the other way. The Rangers will save $100m odd and both teams get great offensive players, it seems like the perfect fit. However they want to restructure his contract, A-Rod doesn't care but the players union do, the deal doesn't get done.

Now over in a sleepy town a man who the Red Sox refer to as Aaron bleeping Boone is playing a game of pick-up basketball and injures himself. He injures himself pretty bad. The Yankees need a third baseman, A-Rod is so desperate to move to a contender he jumps at the chance of moving to the Yankees and in turn leaving his GG position behind him as the Yankees already have a guy entrenched at Short. That guy is Derek Jeter and here in lies the problem.

New York is Jeter's town.

Rightly or wrongly, this guy can do no wrong and boy I love DJ just as much as the next Yankee fan. We've won four World Championships with him fielding at Shortstop, he has always played hard and worked hard, he has always been something of a PR man's dream, attractive, comfortable with the spotlight and seems to thrive in the heat of playing baseball in the Bronx. It takes a lot for the Boo Birds to come out for Jeter, a real lot, for he is the chosen one. A-Rod on the other hand is not, he is the great offensive weapon, he was the reigning AL MVP when he was traded to the Yankees (he got it over Posada that year who finished third, I mean an MVP from a last placed team, bah!) he is now the reigning AL MVP. He was the player of the month for May. His record speaks for itself but a few bad games, a couple of fielding errors and he is on the receiving end of 50,000 boos.

When he got booed yesterday before the ball was caught in CF you have to feel sorry for the guy. He came back too early from a stomach virus, Jeter came back too early and is 1 for 16 but I don't hear any boos for him. That is because Jeter has earned the right in most people's eyes, they've seen him perform time and again for the Yankees, A-Rod hasn't.

A-Rod needs to do one of two things, he won't read this, even if he did he wouldn't listen to me but heck I'll say it anyway. Either he needs to get out of New York, which I think he'd be very reluctant to do as that would in his eyes make him a failure, or he needs to stop worrying about what the Yankee fans and the media think of him. His numbers do speak for themselves but he puts far too much pressure on himself to deliver. Someone once said to me that A-Rod wouldn't be accepted as a Yankee until he hit a walk-off HR in game seven of the World Series and sadly I feel as though that person is right.

On paper it was the move that would tip the Bombers over the edge, adding the best player in baseball to what was already a stacked line-up would equal years of dominance, sadly it hasn't worked out like that. A-Rod says all the right things, maybe that is part of the problem, A-Rod isn't being himself, he is trying to be who everyone wants him to be.

Alex, you are a fine player, and I have little doubt that you are a fine man too. However please be yourself, sod what everyone thinks of you, as long as you put up the numbers you will be loved and respected by the Yankee fans and you can turn it around. Look across the diamond and standing at first you'll see Jason Giambi, hated by most but has fought back and is now at the very least respected by the majority of Yankee fans and loved by most. You can be a great Yankee, you just need to thrust off the shackles and stop thinking so much, just do.

So did A-Rod make a mistake by joining the Yankees? Probably he did, but it's a mistake that can be put right. If he wants love and respect then he has it in him to bring it out of the fans and the media, he just needs to know who he is. When he finds it he needs to stop trying to be Derek Jeter mk II, if he does then everything will fall into place, trust me.

The joys of a double header...

Make that two of us!

When you see that lineup, you have to be grateful that you didn't make this afternoon's game your only family trip of the year to the park in the Fens... and commiserations if you did.

Something else that becomes evident though - I appreciate that Josh Bard was struggling to catch Tim Wakefield's knuckleball, but... our back-up catcher is hitting .154... that needs a heck of a lot of saved passed balls / wild pitches to even get close to a replacement level catcher doesn't it?

Sunday, June 11, 2006

The Jon Lester era (part 1)

Well the Jon Lester era has started - and looked something like the start of the Jon Papelbon era (which started before Jon let it be known that he preferred Jonathan).

I can't imagine that any young pitcher really wants to sit through a 5 hour or so rain delay before they make their major league debut, but even so his line didn't look too bad:







v. Rangers







Something strange went on with the TV coverage of this game, so I at least got to see the first two innings of his first start - before DirectTV imposed the blackout. So I am now in the situation where a game that started almost three hours after the end of the national game is blacked out, presumably because it should have started at the same time as the national game... crazy.

I did get to see enough that offered hope for the future - in the second inning, Lester struck out Mark Teixeira to end the inning with the bases loaded - some of the trouble was his own making, some of it resulted from an error by Mark Loretta.

The game is (apparently) all tied up with the Sox hitting in the bottom of the 6th - let's hope that they can take advantage of the A's good form in NY to take a 1.5 game lead in the East by the end of day.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Fox Saturday Farce

My good friend and colleague Neil H has had a busy week, but he's now back home just outside NY and looking forward to seeing highly touted Sox prospect Jon Lester make his big league debut in the double header. However there is one minor problem, despite spending hundreds of dollars on his sporting networks, he won't actually be able to watch this game because of the blackout restrictions.

He isn't amused.

Now the really stupid thing is, here I am sitting in my room overlooking the North Sea, and come 6:20 local time, I'll be able to watch the Red Sox and Rangers should I so desire as I'm outside the blackout restriction zone (by a few thousand miles) but isn't it just one big and extremely unfunny joke?

You should be able to watch your team each and every game if you pay for the package. Why should baseball fans be forced to watch certain games when others are available? MLB really needs to sort this out because it sucks plain and simple and although I'm not effected, plenty of people are.

Sort it out Bud.

Things I missed

Well the Sox fell out of first place while I was away, and I can only apologize. Some things that I missed while I was away...
  • Curt's 200th win against the Devil Rays, and his 201st against the Yankees. I know that Curt has come out early and stated that next year will be his last, but you have to hope that his desire to pitch to his son (current age 11...) will see him agree to continue in a Sox uniform until we are anticipating his 300th win.
  • David Ortiz's line falling to .256 / .359 / .902 - that really isn't a 'Ortizesque' line... and the good news is, we can all look forward to him hitting .350 / .450 / 1.050 for a few weeks as he gets back to a more usual line sometime soon.
  • Neil M batting clean-up for the Yankees in Tuesday nights' Yankee win - seriously, this Yankee team is falling apart at quite a rate, but still putting up wins at quite a rate. When the pre-season reviews were being put together, the question that was rarely asked (or underplayed when it was asked) about the Yankees, was the injury risk. The current Yankee predicament reminds me a little bit of the Bichette / Lansing / Stynes Red Sox in 2000, when the Sox were without a number of regulars for an extended period, yet remained in the hunt - leading Sox fans (and players) to think about how much better things would be when the regulars returned... except it never worked out that way. When the regulars did come back they weren't really ready, and the reserves were unable to continue playing above themselves... not that I am saying that a team with Cabrera, Cairo, Phillips and Williams as regulars playing at a .700 clip is playing above itself, but...
  • Roger Clemens deciding to re-sign with the Astros, but admitting that it was between the Astros and the Sox to the end. If the Astros fall out of the NL Central by July 31, does Roger still end his career in a Sox uniform?
Most importantly...
  • My May season review - I will post that in the next day or so

Home, sweet home

Well my 10 day, three country sojourn is over - the Sox 10 day, three city sojourn is over - and thankfully, I return just in time to see the Sox get the short homestand off to the right start.

I can say that now that the Sox have the win in the record book, but it was one of those nights where you did wonder whether the lack of key hits would come back and haunt the team. While the Sox ended up outhitting the Rangers 10-8, they had a five hit advantage through the 7th inning, but had only managed to score on Trot's first Fenway HR of the season in the home half of the 1st.

So when Papelbon blew his first save of the season in the 8th, allowing Matthews to score from 3rd on a pitch that Blalock shouldn't even have been thinking about swinging at, let alone hitting solidly to left center, part of my jet-lagged / time-zone addled brain groaned. But in the bottom half, Manny, Trot and Mike Lowell combined to score the go ahead run, while Papelbon came back out in the 9th to get his first win of the season.

Given the rain is falling and the thunder is still grumbling here in Westchester, and the Yankees are 5 runs behind in the 7th with a rain delay from that same storm threatening the game, it looks like I made it home just in time to see the Sox reclaim first place.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Yanks take series

With the rain lashing down in the Bronx, Wednesday's match-up has been shelved meaning that the Baby Bombers have taken this shortened three game set whatever Thursday's result. The weather gives everyone a chance to catch their breath after a quite awesome game on Tuesday, which came very much against the advertised billing, a pitching duel and a game won by great defense.

It is hard to start anywhere else by with that catch in the top of the eighth, two out, no-one on for Manny who got into one, launching a deep fly ball to death valley. Melky dashed to his left, Johnny raced to his right, Melky has a beat on it, glances at the wall, times his leap, goes over the wall and brings back the ball, stumbling forward and falling face first on to the turf clutching the ball whilst Johnny Damon pumps his fist. The 2B ump rushes out and holds his right arm aloft, the crowd goes bananas, players swear in England and Spanish, Michael Kay, Don Orsillo and John Sterling are all calling the play and they all are eulogising over it. The kid done good.

That catch preserved the Yankees lead which they had taken in the bottom half of the seventh after a two-out rally. Cairo tapped a comebacker to the rookie pitcher Pauley, who'd pitched brilliantly on his Yankee Stadium debut and only his second big league start, however the ball rolled under his glove and Loretta couldn't make the barehand play and Cairo reached. Johnny Damon then served a single the other way and Melky Cabrera reached on a four pitch walk. Pauley was lifted leaving the bases loaded for Jason Giambi. The Yankees DH does what everyone expected, worked the count full before laying off an inside breaking ball and earning the bases loaded walk, forcing Cairo home from third. Yankees up 2-1 and that is how it would stay.

Wang gave up a long HR to David Ortiz and struggled early before settling down and ending up with the line of seven IP and only one run given up. Bernie Williams lined the first pitch of the fifth over the wall in RCF for his first HR lefted hander of 2006 to tie it up at one. Mariano nailed down the save in the ninth with a five pitch outing. This match was a very well played ball game with Andy Phillips showing off stellar defense at first catching a Nixon liner and stepping on first for a DP and taking another hit away from the Sox, going up the ladder to snatch one away.

Things seem to be going the Yankees way, Long DFA'ed, Small's start being skipped due to tonight's rain out, the Yanks actually finding some D, whatever next, a Posada inside the park HR? Now that I'd love to see!

Saturday, June 03, 2006

on the road again

Well Neil M has had to carry the load this week as I live the life of a British baseball fan - and this week has been very tough, staying in hotels that either offer very poor, or non-existant internet service. Although when my friends back in NY see the tan that I have from a week on the Scottish links, they are going to think I was elsewhere!

It really is back to the 'good' old days for me again - watching as much of the Sox game as I can (although NESN on NASN last night was quite cool!) online before sleep takes over, then waking up and your brain kicking in with the 'what is the quickest way to find out the Sox score' imperative!

So I haven't seen Clement stink, I don't know why Beckett was allowed to give up bomb after bomb, it took me days to find out about our DL visitors and I haven't seen our AA pitcher who stopped (in a fashion) the Blue Jays sweep.

And the famine isn't over yet, my travels take me to the south, then the deep south... Spain... before heading back to NY, and straight to the Stadium on Friday night - to see whatever collection of fit bodies the Yankees are able to turn out that night against the Athletics... hopefully looking ofr their first win in 5 games...