College basketball's start delayed...
Red Sox webclicks reign supreme for yet another day in the world of the Biggest Little's state newspaper. Nerds rejoice, ignorance is bliss!
Hate to poop in the punchbowl, Sox enthusiasts, but the corpse of Josh Beckett (and his lukewarm heater) just isn't going to cut it. Heck of a way to close out the year, winning at the Fens, but it ends down at the concrete cowbell jungle of Vince Naimoli Memorial Tropicana Field.
It was nice to sleep and nice to have a cerebellum-splitting headache and nice to have the damned Blackberry (brought to you by the ALCS, or is it the other way around? or is it Frank TV?) buzzing with texts saying "do you believe?" or "do you believe this shit?" or "Red cast mojo."
I'm glad I missed all the crap parts of the game. It's like not watching "Titanic" until the boat starts to sink. (jesus, that sounded like Simmons).
Top 3 Joes of the last 24 hours:
3. Joe Maddon
2. Joe the Plumber
1. Joe Mama
Also receiving votes: Guy Ritchie
Best text message received so far tonight: "Sox should've traded for Manny this morning." Agreed. And clincher king D-Lowe.
Why is SportsCenter showing high school football highlights? HSGametime goes worldwide leader on me.
Joe Morgan just said that was a cutter that JD Drew hit.
Five years ago, at the same time on the clock (12:16 a.m.) that JD Drew hit his ground-rule double into right field at Fenway to beat the Rays...Aaron Boone hit the left field shot (second best text of tonight: "Score that play: HR") off the then-corpse of Tim Wakefield (I'm not dead...I feeeeeel, happppppy...I think I'll go for a walk...) in 2003.
And furthermore, that very same season, I earned my first invitation to leave a professional sporting venue...for heckling in the Giuliani seats at Yankee Stadium. One of the main culprits? Aaron Boone ("hey Aaron, I see you got the height and your brother got the talent..."). The team the Yankees were playing?
The Tampa Bay (Devil) Rays.
And Lincoln had a secretary named Kennedy and Kennedy had a secretary named Lincoln...
I'm sleeping in tomorrow, so don't shampooing bother me.
(7-1, Rays, on Saturday and Rocco Baldelli does the Biggest Little proud. Dan Wheeler, too)
...can only truly be rooted in logic, here's my logical stab at the game 4 batting order.(mind you, this is the third time in as many trips to the ALCS that I turned down tickets to game 4...the previous two times came in 2004 and 2007. Superstition is the religion of feeble minds, which I guess kind of messes with my whole optimism theory. Bugger off, all of you...)
1. Crisp - CF
2. Pedroia - 2B
3. Drew - RF
4. Bay - LF
5. Youkilis - 3B
6. Papi - DH
7. Kotsay - 1B
8. Cash - C
9. Lowrie - SS
Drop Papi so that he can at least bat with runners on base. Go lefty-righty from 3-6. Let Jacoby sit for a bit, come in to pinch run when it's time to ditch Cash or bunt perhaps? Tek can come into play C, but when it's time for him to hit in a late-and-close situation, pinch hit again.
Prediction: Sox 5, Rays 3.
Re-Building a Winner
You know what’s crazy? It’s a rebuilding year.
I had this conversation in July with a new employee here at the Flagship…the Red Sox are, essentially, rebuilding.
That process began when the Sox decided against trading for Johan Santana, for a package of prospects.
Those prospects included (in no particular order): the 25-year old leadoff guy who just finished the ALDS with a .400 on-base percentage, six RBI (ok, three of them came on a three-run single, Tanner Boyle-style); a 24-year old righty who threw a no-hitter last year and struggled finding his command this season; a 24-year old lefty who threw a no-no this year and is emerging as the Ace of the staff.
Not to mention the 24-year old infielder, with the patient eye, steady glove who has been branded as the jack of all trades, master of none…and found the strait of Teixeira between second and first last night, which drove in the gamewinning run. And factor in the tall, 23-year old right-hander that – to my count – has made two gaffes so far: the cross-up to Varitek last night and the Champs Sports commercial with the horrible Jimmy Tingle as a cab driver.
The Red Sox made a trade at the deadline, or so I heard on WEEI. And not to open that can of worms, safe to say the trade has been mutually beneficial. Channeling my inner John Sterling, “in life, all good things have some sort of reciprocation.” Let your mind wander on that one.
But the Sox won 95 games in the regular season due to Ellsbury, Buchholz, Lester, Lowrie, Masterson…and don’t discount the help that Brandon Moss made. Don’t laugh, he won a game in Japan… Even Craig Hansen helped (by leaving and facilitating the Manny-Bay trade).
When injuries arose, there was a steady stream of Jeff Bailey’s, Chris Carter’s, Jonathan Van Every’s, and Joe Thurston’s.
The injuries were to key cogs – starters, infielders, outfielders - yet the machine never had any prolonged stretch of having “out-of-service” tape ribboning around the mechanism thanks to the youngsters.
And as we’ve seen in the stretch run and postseason, Lowrie and Masterson assumed semi-permanent roles and may very well displace a veteran or two. Why Lugo and not Lowrie? Why Timlin and not Masterson? Those are legitimate questions now.
With the New York professional baseball clubs looking to spend more money than Tyco execs with a month full of spousal birthday parties, the Red Sox are primed to dip into idyllic New England towns like Pawtucket and Portland for their help.
There will be tire-kicking on AJ Burnett, CC Sabathia, Ben Sheets, and Mark Teixeira, I’m sure. But the prospects have shown that they might be ready for prime time and they’ve done it during a run to the ALCS. In college, it’d be cutely referred to as the freshmen becoming sophomores.
But in the modern baseball era – the rebuilding process has taken place from within and it’s worthy of taking notice.
Ok, hope to have more as the playoffs continue. But who the hell knows?
On an aside - despite the inactivity/hibernation/sabbatical/laziness/knee injuries that have caused TLBR to not be updated for quite some time, the hit counter went over 300k. Wow. Still amazing. Thanks everyone.