After Friday night’s loss, a Globe headline haunted me..”Sox Come Up Short.” Would this be the phrase we would be chanting until October? Third place behind the two best records in all of Baseball is coming up short. Looking at all the injuries is knowing and thinking about what could have been. But there are still many games to play, including next weekend’s series against you know who. Four games that might define the season.
photo by Kelvin Ma, Boston Herald
Another question always comes up. I am happy not to have the responsibility of deciding when to bring relief in from the bullpen. When I watched Clay walk out of the dugout as his beautiful start and shutout disintegrated, my only thought was that a pitcher like Buchholz wants the ball in the 9th, especially with our rickety pen. As the Monday morning pitcher, I think we wait until he gives up his own shutout. Why am I bemoaning a another comeback victory, and even when Ramon I bemoan Ramirez is now in the National league, perhaps where he has belonged all of his short career? I am happy to have witnessed Ramon’s best strikeout of the year before his departure. He threw a great splitter to Miguel Cabrera on Friday night and made him look foolish. Was Ramon actually throwing some nasty pitches on the eve of his trade? This was something Pap couldn’t do yesterday. But enough of that.
Scutaro will continue to have a huge impact. With the Ortizian magic and poise in the ninth inning two games in a row gives one the feeling that there is a potential to keep coming back, to sweat it out until the wheels come off. Is it the great bunt or the throwing error? Is it the long at bat that ends in the walk-off? It’s a victory no matter what. Two of three from the Tigers after a sweep of the Angels? We couldn’t ask for a better way for August to come upon us.
Right of the Pesky Pole Notes:
How do we not say anything about Ryan Kalish? There was some Kalishian magic, too, this weekend, and local celebrations were sparkling with Ryan’s first appearance at Fenway. Kalish was born in California but grew up and played baseball in nearby Shrewsbury, NJ, about 15 minutes up the road from where I write this. Tito’ heaped some Green Monster sized praise on the young player, comparing him to Trot Nixon. We could use another Trot, don’t you thnk?
In the other dugout was Jeff Frazier, from Pt Pleasant, 15 minutes in the opposite direction. With Anthongy Ranaudo’s (Jackson,N.J) rise I am starting to think that it’s truly possible to grow baseball players in the Garden State. If you look at some of the National All-Star games for High School players, you might assume that California and Georgia have the only fertile soil.
In the 70’s there were several highly publicized exhibition matches between boxing legend Muhammad Ali and an assortment of wrestling stars. Andre the Giant even fought Chuck Wepner. Wepner, also known as the Bayonne(NJ) Bleeder was the inspiration for the first Rocky movie. These were pure spectacle, ridiculous and sometimes dangerous for the boxers involved.
I have a love-hate relationship with the All-Star Game and as I am anticipating it here on the first day of summer, I think of it as the Andre the Giant fight with Wepner, an odd mix, forced together by those interested in an event, not in the sport itself. I am even weeks behind in writing about it; commentary on stories and blog entries have been plump with voting results and insights.
I love it, though, for the way it seems to bring fans and players together in what looks and feels like a celebration of baseball. My mom took my brothers and me to the 1977 All-Star game at Yankee Stadium. I remember Joe Morgan’s home run and Tom Seaver’s walk from the bullpen, when the crowd gave him a lasting, loving standing ovation as he appeared in a Reds uniform in what was I think his first return to New York after leaving the Mets. Other than that I remember the brutally hot car ride home as the old, brown caddy was on the brink of overheating and we had to keep the AC off.
The other reason I like the game is that it provides some baseball over a few dry days without baseball.
I am not really concerned about the voting, even though I voted a few times for Youk, Dustin, Vmart, Papi, and Beltre. Mostly, I would like to see Clay honored. He wants it, and he deserves it– one inning to show the baseball world that Clay Buchholz is one of the best pitchers in the game. Clay has been my focus since my first blog entry, and thus far has proved vital. His fastball, which was noticeably more powerful as I watched him during spring training, reached 97 last night. Awesome. The proper retribution for LA was delivered in the form of this sweep, perfectly concluded by Clay, who in many ways has saved this season from derailment.
Worth noting is the sense of humor Red Sox fans exhibited at Fenway with their Beat LA chants crossing over to baseball. I think of this as a way of conceding that the Lakers were simply the better team and making it to the finals, not to mention Game 7, was joyous for Boston.
“Nava hot as lava” by the Globe’s Professor Abraham This is more in the form of dropping rhymes for Jay-Z. Abraham caught himself and said, “Man that is lame.” But, to me, it’s all about context. With the right beats, this works.
ipod sounds: I am a lonesome hobo Bob Dylan.
According to Formosa & Hamburger, in their Baseball Field Guide, there are no rules when it comes to caps. Even more significant is the fact that the rules don’t even mention them(47). As the Red Sox were breaking other rules in the world of fashion, they smoked to a another win, even though it was awkward at first.Even with the walks, the Red Sox got 7 innings of Lesteration* Throughout the first three innings, he was uncomfortable and clearly frustrated with himself. I blame the new hat –It seemed to slip down further on his head, pressing on the ears. Even with its CoolBase technology,something wasn’t right.No worries–they have to wear them only two more times this season. But before we send the entire team off to an episode of What Not to Wear, there are a few things to keep in mind.
This is a Baseball blog, right? So I can have some fun here. It began with Professor Abraham mentioning Tito’s comments on the Extra Bases blog. We can just wear flag patches instead of these “dumb-***” hats, but MLB can’t sell patches, he said in so many words. Several of the reader comments were hysterical. We should mention that MLB will donate $1 to the Welcome Back Veterans Fund. A whole one dollar? I digress, but maybe the bill with Abe Lincoln’s face is more appropriate, on many levels. Then I wouldn’t hesitate at all
About the image above.(Photo Courtesy:Greg Peterson) As I watched the game, I kept wondering why I was having flashbacks to the turn of the century, and not the one we saw in our relatively recent past. Hugh Bedient wore a white hat, as did the whole Red Sox team.The unofficial American League Rookie of the year(20-9, 2.92) in 1912, his career ended after he was drafted for World War 1.In Honor of Bedient, and many others of course, I just added yesterday’s hat to my shopping cart. Go ahead, laugh all you want. My lovely girlfriend has even chimed in, adding that I will look like I just retired and moved to West Palm Beach. Hell, frivolity is part of the game. Enjoy, Baseball friends. Happy Memorial Day.
1) feeling associated with victory, provided by Jon Lester, usually following a win delivered by Clay Buchholz
2) the act of lesterating
3) grit and grace under pressure, even while wearing a silly hat at which your fans and beat writers are poking fun.
Origin: May 30, 2010, Boston, MA, USA, Fenway Park
1. Jollity, exhilaration, hillarity after sweating it out.
You already know the 1908 uniform. Yesterday could have been much worse, as the fans in the stands would have been waiting for Lester & Co to cook some afternoon BBQ.
The “Red-hot Birds”? Who are those guys? No reason to ask that of the first-place Rays. We knew they would be tough. Who are the Red Sox? The “reeling” or “frustrated” Red Sox? “Are the Red Sox Done?” asks the Boston Globe. Who are we with two outfielders on the bench? Who are we with 18 different line-ups in 25 games? We are the team in May still playing like April. Messieurs Silva and Finn of the Globe have a deadline of the end of May for us to really know if the Sox are truly in contention in the AL East. This May may be a quick month. Let’s hope for the kind of month that goes by so quickly because we are giddy with victories that appear effortless, without the howls of pain and frustration like the one we heard from Big Papi yesterday after he fouled off a pitch he wanted to send into the brick of Camden Yards’ warehouse. Now we are back home, with Butch on the mound against the Angels. I promise I am not thinking about another pitcher’s blown save from sometime last fall, one that echoed all winter and then again yesterday. I am only thinking about gunshot wounds fired by the stud on the mound tonight. SEE, HE’S SMILING. And so shall we.