July 31, 2007

G106: Orioles 5, Red Sox 3

Josh Beckett (3.27, 138 ERA+) / Erik Bedard (3.05, 145 ERA+)

WMP vs Bedard: .625 (5-for-8), with 2 RBIs and 3 walks.

Donnelly: Season-Ending TJ Surgery

The Globe reports that Brendan Donnelly will undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery either this Friday or next Tuesday.

Eric Gagne will join the team before tomorrow night's game.

By The Numbers

          G   IP    H  BB   K   ERA   ERA+  WHIP
Gagne 34 33.1 23 12 29 2.16 213 1.050
Papelbon 37 37.2 23 11 54 2.15 210 0.903
Okajima 47 51.1 30 12 44 0.87 518 0.813

OBA OOP OSP OOPS
Gagne .192 .265 .275 .540
Papelbon .169 .247 .279 .526
Okajima .168 .220 .218 .438
Gagne has allowed a few more base runners and struck out far fewer batters than Snuffer, but I'm surprised to see their stats so similar. Gagne actually has a better ERA+. (Jeemer's is off the charts!)

Deadline Deals: Red Sox Get Gagne

Check out Gagne's 2007 Game Log: 33.1 IP in 34 games, 23 hits and 12 walks (1.05 WHIP), 29 strikeouts.

2.16 ERA and 213 ERA+. (Toss out a bad outing on July 23 (3 runs in 1 inning) and the season ERA drops to 1.39.

Opponents hitting .192/.265/.275 against him (LH batters only .155/.210/.172). Road stats: 14 IP, 0 ER.

Has thrown more than 1 inning in only one of 34 games (never more than 6 batters). Thrown 20+ pitches in only 11 of 34 appearances (high of 27 on May 27 against us!).

***

3:35 PM: NESN says Gagne waives NTC. Looks like it's a done deal: David Murphy, Kason Gabbard and Engel Beltre are off to Texas.

2:35 PM: Fox -- Dye Deal Dead?

***

MSN:
The Red Sox are on the verge of winning the Eric Gagne sweepstakes, pending his approval and a review of his medical records, according to major-league sources.

Gagne must waive his no-trade clause to Boston for the deal to be completed. It is possible the Red Sox will allow him to share the closer's role with Jonathan Papelbon. ...

It is not known whom the Rangers would receive for Gagne. ...
SoSHers are also posting (2:15) that Steve Buckley (WEEI?) is saying WMP/Murphy/Hansen for Dye.

We shall see. Both players would have to waive their no-trade clauses by 4 PM.

***

Red Sox trade Joel Pineiro and $ to St. Louis for a player to be named later.

Yankees trade Scott Proctor to the Dodgers for infielder Wilson Betemit.

(will be updated)

Ten Years After

July 31, 1997: Boston GM Dan Duquette trades Red Sox closer Heathcliff Slocumb to Seattle for the AAA battery of Jason Varitek and Derek Lowe.

Alex Speier has more.

Trade Deadline - 4 PM

Sean McAdam, Projo:
The White Sox demanded the Red Sox include either reliever Manny Delcarmen or Double-A pitching prospect Justin Masterson as part of a package for Dye, but the Sox balked at both requests. ...

The 33-year-old Dye has a no-trade clause in his contract and initially rebuffed the Red Sox, feeling that he wouldn't get enough playing time to bolster his value entering the free-agent market.

But the Sox sought to allay those fears, reportedly assuring Dye that he would play five times per week, presumably at the expense of fellow outfielder J.D. Drew, whose production has been a huge disappointment in the first year of a five-year deal in Boston. ...

The Sox are willing to move Wily Mo Pena and other young pitchers — including Kason Gabbard or Craig Hansen.
Jeff Horrigan, Herald:
Theo Epstein could not be reached for comment, but two other general managers said the Sox have made serious bids to land both Dye and Gagne, although they remained adamant about not parting with top prospects Jacoby Ellsbury, Clay Buchholz or Justin Masterson. There were conflicting reports about the Sox' intent on not discussing Manny Delcarmen, Jon Lester and Portland right-hander Michael Bowden.

There is little doubt the Red Sox will move reserve outfielder Wily Mo Pena and Pawtucket starter Devern Hansack ... One GM said that, from what he'd been told, the Sox had the best offers on the table for both Dye and Gagne. ...

The Sox are believed to have offered assurances to [Dye] that he would play at least five days a week in the outfield, first base or designated hitter.
Two things:

1. There is no way the Red Sox will trade for Dye and then bench Drew. But Dye could give each of Drew (.615 OPS vs LHP), Ortiz and Manny occasional days off.

2. Dye has played one game at first base in 12 major league seasons.

July 30, 2007

Tweak

I slightly enlarged the font on posts, but I'm not sure I like it. Any thoughts?

I'm also accepting suggestions for future subtitles above.

Clip And Save

Daniel Lamothe at Red Sox Monster links to Baltimore Sun writer Dan Rodricks's prediction:
Red Sox will choke. It's going to get really ugly. It's going to be historic. The Curse Resurrectio. They'll not only lose the AL East. They won't get a wild-card bid.

Yanks will finish first in the East, the Tigers in the Central and the Angels in the West. The Indians will be the wild-card.

The Orioles will make a run and finish strong -- edging out the Jays and the Sox into second place right behind the Yankees.

There, it's done. I said it. I'm gonna live with it. I've started the Bosox Choke Watch.
Does this guy really believe this? (If I'm reading it right, he has the Red Sox pegged for 4th.) Is it only for attention? Does he burn to become CHB Jr.?

At the moment, it is the Orioles who are in fourth place, 49-55, 14.5 GB.

Why Dye?

Gordon Edes, Globe:
[W]hile the White Sox remain hopeful of persuading the Sox to make a deal for outfielder Jermaine Dye, the price remains too high for Boston. Chicago would take Wily Mo Pena but want either Manny Delcarmen or Justin Masterson (2nd round pick in 2006). The Red Sox will not part with either for a rent-a-player like Dye, who is eligible for free agency after the season. There is a decent chance that the Red Sox will not make a substantive deal before tomorrow's 4 p.m. deadline ...
Trading MDC would leave us with White Flag & Donnelly as RH set-up guys. Not good. And Masterson appears just below Buccholz and Ellsbury on the untouchable list.

Why the interest in Dye? The outfield seems pretty set. Are there health issues with either Ortiz or Drew that we don't know about?

Recently at SoSH:

koufax32:
I think the FO looks at Dye as a Papi fill-in. If Papi were to have surgery on the knee it would take 4-6 weeks to heal right (this was discussed a while ago and I couldn't find the post)? So, Dye gets to play LF and DH every day during that time. Afterwards he becomes the best bench bat in the majors. I can see this trade happening and then finding out in another 1-2 days that Papi's having the knee taken care of. ... Dye would be here to make sure we get into the playoffs. When we get there we have a healthy Papi.
ConigsCorner:
I think koufax32 nails it. Clearly, Papi isn't right which is why the Sox have so much interest in Dye. Williams knows this so he and Theo are playing chicken and will continue to do so right up to the deadline. The pale hose aren't going anywhere, so there's no pressure on Williams to deal as he can sit back and collect the draft picks when Dye leaves as a free agent. The pressure is all on Theo.

Teixeira to Atlanta

Ken Rosenthal reports that Texas will trade 1B Mark Teixeira and LHP Ron Mahay to Atlanta for C Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Class A shortstop Elvis Andrus and two pitching prospects.

I would have liked to see Teixeira in Boston, but the offensive upgrade from Youkilis or Lowell was not enough to part with two of the only three propsects opposing terms are asking for: Clay Buccholz, Jacoby Ellsbury or Jon Lester. The silver lining here is that Brian Cashman feels the same way about the Yankees' pitching prospects.

Another report has Texas asking for Milk Dud in exchange for Eric Gagne and Cashman saying No. ... ESPN's Jayson Stark says the Royals may offer Octavio Dotel to the Red Sox "for someone like outfielder David Murphy".

July 29, 2007

Control The Rats

Bullpen coach Gary Tuck says the Red Sox relievers call themselves the "Pirates of the Caribbean". Tuck says "they've got their own nicknames", but he did not elaborate.
We have a code and the code is to stick to the code. Like the movie, you've got to stick to the code. It starts with 'Give me a zero.' How do you get a zero? Attack the hitter with strike one. Then there is '1 and 1 and you're done.' Then, 'Bend but don't break,' I've got your back,' and 'Control the rats,' which is the running game.
Not having seen the movie(s?), I have no idea what he's talking about. I do know, however, that September 19 is Talk Like A Pirate Day. Arrrr!

Schilling Should Return August 5 or 6

Curt Schilling will make one more rehab start for Pawtucket this Tuesday, then join the Red Sox on the west coast.

Schilling was talking about Cal Ripken yesterday:
I came up [with Baltimore] in 1990 and got called into the game in the seventh inning, facing Kirby Puckett. And I get to two strikes and I'm shaking and shaking [off the catcher] because I want to throw a split. And I look in and the umpire calls timeout, and I'm looking around and Cal jogs in from shortstop.

And this is my first outing. And he doesn't know what I'm thinking - at least I didn't think so. And he goes, 'Hey, listen, you don't want to throw a split here. You want to throw a fastball above the letters.' So I throw a high fastball and it's strike three, inning over. I was in awe of him.
Considering the meticulous records Schilling keeps of his performances, I wasn't too surprised to find out that he remembered that day exactly right.

It was June 29, 1990 in Minnesota. It was Schilling's first major league appearance of the season. He came into the game to face Puckett with a runner on first and two outs. Schilling threw four pitches and struck Puckett out swinging to end the inning. (He pitched the final 2.1 innings of the game and got a save.)

Bet Schilling doesn't remember what day of the week it was, though.

G105: Devil Rays 5, Red Sox 2

A scoreless duel until the bottom of the seventh, when the Rays broke through against Matsuzaka (Navarro solo HR) and slapped around Delcarmen (back-to-back HRs from Upton and Pena for four more runs).

Boston came right back with B2B solo shots of their own -- Manny and Yook -- but it wasn't enough. Several unsuccessful chances to score earlier in the game (singles from Lugo and DP to start the 1st, Pena on third with one out in the 5th, and two 2-on, 2-out situations) cost the Sox.

***

Daisuke Matsuzaka (3.79, 119 ERA+) / Scott Kazmir (4.02, 113 ERA+)

RedSox.com:
Last time out, Dice-K snapped a three-start slump by firing seven scoreless innings ... limiting Cleveland to four hits while fanning five. So far, he's held left-handed opponents to .208 hitting in his 21-game career.

[Kazmir has] defeated Cy Young winners Roger Clemens (Yankees) and Bartolo Colon (Angels) in conseutive outings. During that 13-inning span, he's allowed just one earned run, seven hits and five walks, while fanning 13.
Dice and Red Dot faced each other at Fenway on July 3. Matsuzaka (8-4-0-1-9, 122) was superb in Boston's 4-1 win.

No time to look at the papers today. Any new trade rumors?

Schadenfreude 11 (A Continuing Series)

Kinda dull. I expected more.


July 28, 2007

G104: Red Sox 12, Devil Rays 6 (12)

As a six-run 12th inning eases the shock of Snuffer giving up a game-tying, two-run home run to start the bottom of the ninth.

***

Jon Lester (3.00, 150 ERA+) / James Shields (4.44, 103 ERA+)

RedSox.com:
Shields experienced the worst outing of his career on Sunday afternoon against the Yankees, allowing 10 runs on 10 hits in 3.1 innings to take his sixth loss. Shields has been the Rays' best pitcher all season, effectively using a fastball, changeup, curve and cutter to retire hitters. The changeup remains his best pitch. ...

David Ortiz has two homers in five career at-bats against Shields.

Repost: Steroids Rampant in '60s and '70s

Following up on the steroid conversation in the comments to the Schilling Being Schilling post, I thought I would repost something from May 2005 (with some added emphasis):
5.04.2005
Former Red Sox Pitcher: Steroids Rampant in 1960 and 1970s

Former relief pitcher Tom House tells Ron Kroichick of the San Francisco Chronicle that performance-enhancing drugs and steroids were widespread in baseball in the 1960s and 1970s. House pitched for eight years (1971-78), including the Red Sox in 1976 and 1977.

House: "I pretty much popped everything cold turkey. We were doing steroids they wouldn't give to horses. ... I tried everything known to man to improve my fastball ... [We used to say] we didn't get beat, we got out-milligrammed. And when you found out what they were taking, you started taking them."

House estimates that six or seven pitchers on every staff were "fiddling" with steroids or growth hormone. I can only assume that a lot of the hitters on every team were also fiddling, if only to keep pace with whatever advantage they believed the opposing pitchers might be getting.
According to House, more than 30 years ago, approximately half of all major league pitchers were "fiddling" with steroids or growth hormone. I find it difficult to believe that management was unaware of such wide-spread use.

Wake Tops At The Trop

No opposing pitcher has collected more victories at Tropicana Field than Tim Wakefield.

The knuckleballer is 8-0 with a 2.33 ERA in 18 games (12 starts); Mike Mussina, Andy Pettitte and Roy Halladay all have seven wins in Tampa. Wakefield is also tops overall, with a 17-2 record (Mussina is 16-7).

Wakefield (12-9) has also received a decision in each of his 21 starts this season, tying the Red Sox record first set by Tom Brewer in 1957. Wakefield is the sixth pitcher since 1980 to earn a decision in his first 21 starts. (Jack McDowell had 27 straight decisions (and was 22-10 in 34 starts) for the 1993 White Sox.)

The Red Sox have won seven of their last eight games and are now 23 games over .500 (63-40) for the first time this season. Their lead in the AL East is back up to eight games.

July 27, 2007

G103: Red Sox 7, Devil Rays 1

Hammel retired the first 11 Boston batters before David Ortiz singled, and through 5.1 innings, that was his only blemish. But with one out in the 6th, he walked Alex Cora and Julio Lugo and with his pitch count two shy of his limit of 90, he was pulled.

It was a much-needed break for the Sox. Kevin Youkilis hit Juan Salas's 4th pitch for a three-run home run, giving the Red Sox a 3-1 lead. They added four more runs in the 8th: Ortiz walked, Manny Ramirez singled, JD Drew singled (4-1), Coco Crisp doubled (6-1), and Doug Mirabelli singled (7-1).

Wakefield stumbled with two out in the 2nd (allowing two singles, a walk and a run), but finished strong (6-6-1-3-7, 101), giving way to Manny Delcarmen (2-1-0-0-2) and Kyle Snyder (1-0-0-1-0).

***

Tim Wakefield (4.74, 95 ERA+) / Jason Hammel (5.82, 78 ERA+)

RedSox.com:
[RHP] Hammel made a spot start on Saturday against the Yankees and pitched well, allowing two runs in four innings. He would have gone farther, but he had been pitching in relief and was not "stretched out" enough. Hammel possesses a nice variety of pitches ... He is 0-1 with a 10.50 ERA in three appearances against the Red Sox.
Hammel's Game Log v Red Sox:
                   IP   H  R  ER  BB  SO
092606 GS at Bos 4 9 5 5 2 3
070307 Rel at Bos 1 1 0 0 2 2
070507 Rel at Bos 1 3 2 2 2 0
6 13 7 7 6 5
Clearly, the Sox like his "nice variety of pitches".

Time Travel With A-Rod

Alex Rodriguez may have already hit career home run #500, though according to his stats, he stands at #499. It all depends on whether he hits #493 tonight.

Whaaa???

MLB.com explains that if Slappy homers tonight -- when the Yankees finish their June 28 suspended game at Baltimore -- it would go into the record books as having happened on June 28.

Thus, his 500th chronological career home run would be backdated to #493 (he had 492 coming into June 28) and the seven home runs he has hit since June 28 would be bumped up, making #499 -- which Slappy hit off Kansas City's Gil Meche on Wednesday -- the "official" #500.

The June 28 game was suspended in the top of the eighth inning, with New York up 8-6 and Rodriguez on deck.

Another Glossary Update

New Entries: Being, Brak Brak, and Rutheberg.

July 26, 2007

G102: Red Sox 14, Cleveland 9

The bats come alive!
Boston:    011 250 320 - 14 17 1
Cleveland: 001 040 400 - 9 6 1


Manny: 3-for-4, 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 4 RS
Wily Mo: 4-for-5, 2 2B, HR, 4 RBI, 2 RS
Lowell: 3-for-5, 2 RBI
Varitek: 2-for-5, 2 RBI
Crisp: 2-for-5, 2 RS, RBI
Ortiz: 1-for-3, 2 BB, 2 RS
Manny's first home run to dead center was measured at 481 feet -- the third-longest home run in the 13-year history of Jacobs Field.

Schilling in AAA: 5-2-0-0-8, 66 pitches, 44 strikes, retired the first 14 batters.

The Royals beat the Yankees 7-0, so Boston's East lead is back up to 7.5.

***

Kason Gabbard (2.97, 152 ERA+) / Cliff Lee (5.95, 73 ERA+)

Continuing the Ramones theme: one night after "Carmona Not Glue" we have "Gabbard Gabbard Hey". 1, 2, 3, 4 ...

Gabbard is the third pitcher in Red Sox history to win his first five home starts, joining George Winter (1901) and Boo Ferriss (1945). In July, Gabbard is 3-0 with a 1.92 ERA, with 11 hits allowed in his past 28 innings.

RedSox.com:
Lee was hit hard again on Saturday in Texas, giving up seven runs on eight hits in 6.2 innings to lose his third consecutive start. In going 0-3 since July 6, he has allowed 19 earned runs in his past 16 innings (10.69 ERA). Lee already lost to Boston once this year, allowing three runs on six hits in five innings of a 5-3 defeat on May 28 at Fenway Park.

Sox Sign Brady Clark

The Red Sox have signed veteran outfielder Brady Clark to a AAA contract.

Clark, 34, hit .224 in 47 games with Los Angeles before being designated for assignment on June 10, clearing waivers, and becoming a free agent. He will join Pawtucket in Toledo for tonight's game. Jacoby Ellsbury was placed on the seven-day DL with a slight groin strain.

Clark debuted with the Reds in 2000. He later played for the Mets, Brewers and Dodgers. Over eight seasons, Clark has a career .277/.356/.386 line and a 94 OPS+.

Looks like a nice 4th outfielder pickup. It makes me think the WMP Era is coming to an end.

Schilling Being Schilling, i.e., Ignorant, Simplistic & Wrong

Blabbermouth recently yakked about steroids with Bob Costas, saying of Barry Bonds's and Mark McGwire's refusals to address accusations of steroid use:
I just always thought it was very simple: If you did something and someone asks you if you did it and you didn't do it, you say no. Any other answer than no is some form of yes, isn't it?
It doesn't surprise me to hear Schilling, a Bush-backing Republican, parrot the wingnuts' mantra that if you are innocent, you shouldn't mind having your house searched, phone tapped, mail opened, web activities tracked, urine tested, being filmed by cameras throughout your town, etc., etc. (How odd, then, that the current group of conservatives pushing this crap are without question the most secretive government in American history, refusing to obey even the most simple laws designed to foster transparency in government.)

I can't believe Schilling doesn't realize there are myriad instances in which a lawyer would advise his client not to answer a certain question, even if the charges against that client are totally inaccurate.

More blather:
Jose Canseco admitted he cheated his entire career. Everything he ever did should be wiped clean. I think his MVP should go back and should go to the runner-up. ... The year [Rafael Palmeiro] he tested positive, nothing he did that year should count, which I think would take away 3,000 hits for him.
You hear this kind of thing every so often -- that known rule breakers should have their achievements erased from the record books -- though you usually hear it from 10-year-old kids. That's because it's a childish, uninformed opinion. (And P.S. Palmeiro did not get 3,000 hits in the year he tested positive.)

Curt's great idea is this: everything Canseco ever did should be wiped from baseball history. Naturally, that would involve adjusting the career records of every single pitcher who ever faced Canseco in the 1,887 games in which he played. Jose went 0-for-3 with 1 strikeout against Schilling, so even Curt would have his career stats changed.

Canseco's other PAs against Schilling were a grounder to second (Rene Gonzalez) and a grounder to short (Cal Ripken), so those two Baltimore infielders would have to lose one assist each from their career fielding records -- and first basemen Ron Kittle and David Segui each would need one putout deducted from their stats.

We would have to do that for every single one of Canseco's 8,129 plate appearances.

What about Canseco's play in the field? Should the fly balls that he caught, assists he made, errors he committed be credited to another fielder? (Or do they simply vanish, leaving sizable holes in nearly 2,000 box scores?) If Canseco's fielding career is erased -- as Schilling suggests -- then the records of every opposing batter who hit a ball to Canseco would have to have his stats changed. Every single pitcher on all of Canseco's teams would have to have his pitching line changed.

To truly remove all traces of Canseco from baseball history, the results of all of those 1,887 games would have to be declared void. This would forever alter many pennant races, as well as one league division series, three league championship series and four World Series. And two All-Star games.

And what do we do with the players involved in trades with Canseco? Do they count? In December 1994, the Red Sox traded Otis Nixon and Luis Ortiz to Texas for Canseco. In Schilling's world, were those players traded for nothing? Can their respective Rangers careers even "exist"?

And naturally, there is the issue of not knowing who cheated when. The national media focuses on Barry Bonds as if (a) he has been found guilty of steroid use and (b) he is the only player in MLB that has done steroids. Both of these statements are completely false. It is beyond question that Canseco had at least one PA against a pitcher who used steroids. He likely hit a ball that was fielded by a player using steroids.

Also -- why doesn't Schilling lobby for the careers of those players who have actually been found to have used steroids to be wiped from baseball history?

When asked why he wasn't so outspoken at a 2005 congressional hearing, he said:
When you're sitting in front of Congress and you're under oath, you'd better be damn sure if you're going to mention a name that you are 100 percent guaranteed sure somebody did something.
(Whereas when you're talking to Bob Costas, it's a-OK to let the BS fly.) But these players who have been suspended are clearly guilty. Why not zap them from the Baseball Encyclopedia?

Jason Giambi has admitted he used steroids. Why is Schilling so quiet about him? Why does Schilling talk only about the media-approved steroid scapegoats and not the actual players who have tested positive or have admitted using steroids?

July 25, 2007

G101: Cleveland 1, Red Sox 0

This was as frustrating as last night's game was exciting.

Boston didn't get its first hit until infield singles by Crisp and Ortiz in the sixth inning and Varitek's single to right leading off the eighth was only the second ball the Red Sox had hit to the outfield to that point.

Only two Red Sox runners reached second base: Pedroia in the fourth (HBP and PB) and Crisp in the sixth (infield single to short and running on a grounder to third).

Crisp was thrown out at the plate on Ortiz's infield hit (which Barfield actually fielded in short right center) -- Coco slowed down on the way home and was a dead duck. In the eighth, Varitek was erased on a botched hit-and-run and Lugo was also caught stealing to end the inning.

Beckett (8-4-1-0-7, 114) was as strong as Carmona (8-4-0-2-6, 113), but Gutierrez's home run to left in the third was the difference.

***

Josh Beckett (3.41, 132 ERA+) / Fausto Carmona (3.52, 124 ERA+)

July 24, 2007

G100: Red Sox 1, Cleveland 0

Daisuke Matsuzaka / C.C. Sabtahia

Back home tomorrow evening -- and then things will be back to normal.

July 22, 2007

July 20, 2007

On The Road

We are off to northern Vermont for the wedding of an old high school friend (occasional JoS poster accudart), then a drive down to western Mass. to see a nephew. I should be able to put up game posts every day.

G96: White Sox at Red Sox, 7 PM

Jose Contreras (5.32 ERA) / Josh Beckett (3.35 ERA)

RedSox.com:
Although his velocity jumped a bit in his last start to between 92-94 mph on Sunday at Camden Yards, Contreras still fell to 1-7 in his last nine starts with the 5-3 defeat. Contreras yielded five runs on 10 hits over six innings, striking out three and walking two. Since last year's All-Star break, the big right-hander has lost 20 times.
Contreras's ERA:

against Red Sox: 8.56
at Fenway Park: 9.69

July 19, 2007

G95: White Sox 4, Red Sox 2

Panic? No. Nothing even close to panic.

Annoyance? Yes. I'm plenty annoyed.

***

Javier Vazquez (3.77, 120 ERA+) / Daisuke Matsuzaka (3.94, 114 ERA+)

RedSox.com:
Vazquez is having his best year since he left the Expos for the Yankees in 2003. Opponents are only hitting .231 against him in 121.2 innings, and his 114 strikeouts rank seventh in the American League. ...

Against the White Sox, Matsuzaka must defuse speculation that his workload has affected his recent performance. Over his past two starts, he has allowed 10 earned runs in 11 innings, including 19 hits and five home runs.

July 18, 2007

G94: Royals 6, Red Sox 5

Odalis Perez (5.68, 83 ERA+) / Julian Tavarez (5.15, 87 ERA+)

Sexy Lips posted a 3.66 ERA in May/June, but has slipped to 8.16 in his three July starts. The Red Sox have lost his last four starts.

LHP Perez has allowed 130 hits and 36 walks in 101.1 innings this season -- a 1.638 WHIP. David Ortiz has reached base in five of nine plate appearances against Perez.

Possible rain tonight -- check Extra Bases for updates.

Glossary Update

Updated to include Gasbag and Old Hickory.

July 17, 2007

G93: Royals 9, Red Sox 3

An ugly, ugly loss. That's all I can say.

If you watched it, you know what I mean. If you didn't, there's another game Wednesday night. Focus on that one.

***

Leo Nunez (2007 debut) / Tim Wakefield (4.47, 100 ERA+)

RHP Nunez pitched with the Royals in 2005 and 2006, but never made a start. He's pitched at Fenway Park twice (August 3 and 4, 2005), allowing 5 runs in 1.1 innings.

On August 4, Nunez entered the game with two outs and the bases loaded. He gave up a bases-clearing double to Edgar Renteria. Then he walked David Ortiz and Roberto Petagine before surrendering a grand slam to Jason Varitek*. Nunez got Kevin Millar to pop out to end the 8-run inning. (Curt Schilling got the save for the 11-9 win.)

[Added: His long-awaited first career slam.]

Gabbard's Gem

Among Red Sox rookies:
the first nine-inning shutout since Paul Quantrill (July 4, 1993; 9-2-0-3-6)

the first nine-inning shutout at Fenway Park since Roger Clemens (July 26, 1984; 9-4-3-3-11)

the first nine-inning shutout at Fenway Park by a LHP since Roger Moret (September 24, 1971; 9-4-0-7-8)
Gabbard:
After the eighth, they didn't come over and say anything. I didn't know how many pitches I had. ... The only complete games I've thrown were in high school [in Florida seven years ago]. This is the first one in my pro career, and I'm glad it's here in front of these fans and some of my family, too.
Steven Krasner takes a closer look at Gabbard's pitches. Of 107 pitches, Krasner counted 50 fastballs. MPH: fastball 84-88, changeup 78-81 and curveball 77-78.

Curt Schilling will pitch for Pawtucket this Saturday for three innings or about 45 pitches. He's also lined up for a PawSox start on July 26 and could return to the Red Sox on either July 31 or August 1 against Baltimore.

Reports on Clay Buchholz's first AAA start from the ProJo, Herald, Globe and RedSox.com.

And Curtis "You Son Of A Bitch" Leskanic has rejoined the Red Sox as a scouting consultant.

"Jeterrific Calm-Eyed Choco-Bunny"

Ken Tremendous is ... well ... tremendous!

July 16, 2007

G92: Red Sox 4, Royals 0

         IP   H  R ER BB  K  BF  PIT
Gabbard 9 3 0 0 1 8 30 107
Solo home runs from Pedroia and Manny in the 4th and a two-run dinger from Ortiz in the 6th.

All wrapped up in 2:18 -- which also looks like a nice length for a Ramones song.

***

Brian Bannister (3.71, 127 ERA+) / Kason Gabbard (4.87, 92 ERA+)

Gabbard held the Tigers to three hits and two runs in 6.1 in his last outing. ... In his last start, RHP Bannister allowed four first-inning runs to Seattle, then shut out the Mariners for six innings.

Since May 12, the Royals are 28-26 (.519). The Red Sox have been only 2 games better over the same period -- 31-25 (.554).

Clothes Do Make The Man

Peter Gammons, ESPN:
This is really true: When Manny Ramirez gets custom-made clothing at a chic Boston store, when the tailor embroiders Ramirez's monogram, instead of his actual initials, Manny has "MBM" sewn into his shirts and jackets. Yup. Manny Being Manny.

Inside The Monster

If you are an out-of-town sportswriter covering the Red Sox, it's only a matter of time before you write a story about going inside the Wall.

For Allan Ryan of the Toronto Star, it was yesterday.
If the left-field foul pole was some giant hinge and you swung the wall "open" so that it ran down the foul line, the outer edge would be eight feet beyond third base, 82 feet from home plate.
Bonus: Ryan doesn't repeat the false story of Manny's Bathroom Break.

Tito: No Thought Of Vartiek As PH

Terry Francona did not consider sending up Jason Varitek to pinch-hit for Doug Mirabelli in the bottom of the 9th yesterday, with the Sox trailing 2-1.

"That didn't need to happen. He was pretty banged up" from Saturday when he was hit on the right thumb after some miscommunication on a Daisuke Matsuzaka fastball.

The thumb was swollen, but Varitek said:
I could definitely play if I needed to. I played the rest of the game after it happened, but it's a day game after a night game and it's probably smarter for me [to rest] and the team to get a fresh bat in there. .... As a player, you still want to be ready in case something happens. ... It's painful. Playing my position there's always something hurting.
Fresh bat, eh? ... I'd like to think that if Hinske had gotten on base to start the inning, Varitek would have batted. After the Sox's 7-8-9 hitters went down 1-2-3 in the 9th, their respective batting averages fell to .196, .185 and .210. Jeez.

Jere at ARSFFPT adds: "It also says a lot about Wily Mo that in a situation when we need a homer to tie, and we've got Mirabelli and Lugo coming up, we still don't use him."

Curt Schilling will throw two simulated innings this afternoon. ... Clay Buchholz makes his AAA debut tonight. ... The loss to Toronto was Boston's six straight in one-run decisions.

Schadenfreude 10 (A Continuing Series)

The Yankees (45-44) are over .500 for the first time since June 22. They are fewer than 10 games behind the Red Sox for the first time since June 19.

So the Daily News is optimistic -- even though it wrote them off for good on two weeks ago.

Slappy McBluelips: "Think about the psyche of going home one-over instead of one-under; that's a humongous swing for us."

July 15, 2007

G91: Blue Jays 2, Red Sox 1

Another rookie shuts down the bats.

I wonder if we just remember games like this or does it really happen often? If someone could find out (with Retrosheet/BR data) on how rookie pitchers who have never faced the Red Sox before actually fare, I'd be very interested.

***

Jesse Litsch (4.74, 96 ERA+) / Josh Beckett (3.44, 130 ERA+)

Sinkerballing rookie Litsch, 22, replaced AJ Burnett in the rotation on July 3. He allowed two unearned runs in seven innings to Oakland in his last start.

Glossary Update

New: Dr. Doubles, Ococ, Ringo, and an Assman license plate.

Tiz: Magadan Helps Me Too. Really.

When it was reported recently that David Ortiz had called former hitting coach Ron Jackson for some advice, I wondered how Dave Magadan, the man in that job right now, felt about that.

Well, now I'm thinking someone told Ortiz to talk up Magadan, because he's singing his praises now.
Today Mags pulled me to the video (room) and he showed some stuff I put into play today, and it made a huge difference. Every time I took a swing I was just looking at him, "Dude, you should have taught me this three months ago." But Mags, man, he's keeping his eyes on all of us. He's done a great job. He's trying to watch and learn how everybody works around here, and that's the best thing you can do as a hitting coach when you first come to a team.
I don't care if Flo gets his hitting tips from the hot dog vendors, as long as he keeps hitting. But I find the timing of this a little amusing.

Schadenfreude 9 (A Continuing Series)


Sure sounds like Mark Feinsand of the Daily News thinks the Yankees have no chance this season:
As for whether an October without baseball in the Bronx would tarnish Torre's legacy in New York, that will be something for fans to decide. ...

Years from now, when Torre's No.6 hangs in Monument Park and he has been enshrined in the Hall of Fame, the 2007 season will be long forgotten.
Gary Sheffield believes Torre treats black players differently than white players. And now, so does former Yankee Kenny Lofton: "All I can say is, Sheffield knows what he's talking about. That's all I'm going to say."

The Post's Joel Sherman calls Derek Jeter a "baseball savant". I thought that word was saved for talented "flakes" like Manny.

July 14, 2007

G90: Red Sox 9, Blue Jays 4

I love the way the Red Sox have been so quick to answer an opponent's rally with some runs of their own. It happened twice tonight.

Boston led 3-0 when Troy Glaus homered in the 4th. Bottom half of the inning: Hinske belted a solo shot.

Toronto slapped Dice around for three runs in the sixth (back-to-back doubles from Frank Thomas and Glaus and a home-run by Aaron Hill), tying the game at 4-4. Then the Sox sent 10 men to the plate in the bottom half. The rally was kicked off by a long, two-run home run from Jason Varitek.

Julio Lugo had three hits, David Ortiz homered and doubled, and Coco Crisp tripled and scored twice.

Dice left after six innings (6-9-4-2-2, 110). Manny Delcarmen pitched two innings, allowing a single and striking out a career-high four batters. Jeemer took the ninth.

The Yankees came from behind and beat Tampa 6-4, so the Jays and MFY flip-flopped in the standings again. New York stayed 10 GB, while Toronto fell to 11 GB.

***

Dustin McGowan (4.65, 98 ERA+) / Daisuke Matsuzaka (3.84, 117 ERA+)

Redsox.com:
Four big-league teams have faced Matsuzaka more than once. Of them, the Blue Jays have fared worst. Toronto has managed just three runs in Matsuzaka's two starts against them, spanning 13 innings, eight hits, 18 strikeouts, a win and a loss.

... Since his first quality start on May 23, McGowan has lowered his ERA from 7.17 to 4.65, nearly throwing a no-hitter on June 24 in a complete game against Colorado. That breakout performance against the Rockies followed a 1.2-inning shellacking by the Dodgers and a five-run clunker at Seattle. He finished the first half with seven shutout innings in Oakland.

Dr. Doubles

It's what Jonathan Papelbon says the players call Mike Lowell.

Schilling's 55-Pitch Session Goes Well

Curt Schilling was very happy with his 55-pitch side session yesterday afternoon.

"It went really well, I felt real good. Better than it's come out all year. I felt comfortable. I feel a marked difference in how I felt pretty consistently most of the year."

Schilling will throw side sessions on Monday and Wednesday -- and could make a rehab appearance as early as next Saturday.

Snuffer Hates Radar Guns

Cormac, a Red Sox Blogger in Ireland, links to a Buffalo News story in which Jonathan Papelbon says he'd like to ban all radar guns:
It's a total advantage to a hitter - If I'm throwing 98 pitch after pitch, a batter can get set for what's coming. If I'm throwing 93, they might know I'm not feeling as well. Why don't we just tell guys what's coming? It's terrible. They'll know what range your fastball is and what your offspeed stuff is. I have no idea why they started doing this.
It's an interesting perspective. I don't really look at pitch speeds at Skydome (though I do like seeing how many of any Wakefield's pitches dip below 60), but I like seeing what type of pitch was thrown.

Schadenfreude 8 (A Continuing Series)




July 13, 2007

G89: Blue Jays 6, Red Sox 5

MLBTV was blacked out for me at work tonight, so I followed along via Gameday.

Down by one in the 9th, the Sox had Lugo on second and Pedroia on first with one out and the bats they wanted at the plate -- Ortiz and Ramirez -- but tonight wasn't the night for heroics. Tiz flied to center and Manny flied out right.

Manny's two-run blast to left in the 1st gave Boston a 2-0 lead. In the third, Sexy Lips allowed four runs, but then the Sox got three in the home half of the inning, highlighted by Mike Lowell's two-run triple (!) to center.

Kyle Snyder ran into some trouble after two were gone in the 6th -- a walk to Vernon Wells and doubles by Reed Johnson and Alex Rios.

The Red Sox mustered only four hits over the final six innings.

Mike Timlin came out of the pen to end Snyder's mess and then he pitched the 7th and 8th. He retired all seven men he faced. In his last seven appearances, he's pitched 10.1 innings and allowed three hits, three walks and zero runs.

***

Shaun Marcum (3.62, 126 ERA+) / Julian Tavarez (4.97, 90 ERA+)

Lineups inside.

Redsox.com:
After contributing a month and a half of stellar starting pitching, Marcum ... allowed eight earned runs in 3.1 innings against the Cleveland Indians [last Saturday], as his ERA jumped from 2.86 to 3.62. He has yielded three earned runs in 15 career innings against the Red Sox.
More than half of those innings came in a start -- and 5-0 win -- last September 25: 8-2-0-1-10.

Looking at the box for that game, I see Doug Mirabelli saw 21 pitches in 3 PA (10-6-5, all strikeouts), five more than Kevin Youkilis (4-4-3-5) or David Ortiz (7-1-5-3) saw in 4 PA. Weird.

Monday Is Buchholz's PawSox Debut

In Portland (AA), Clay Buchholz pitched 86 innings over 16 games, posting a 1.77 ERA, with 116 strikeouts and only 22 walks. He'll make his first start for Pawtucket on Monday night against Ottawa. Theo Epstein:
As effective as he's been this year, he's still an unfinished product and he still has a lot of work to do. His further development will dictate when he arrives [in Boston]. ... I saw him last week at Portland and more than ever so before, he was getting early-count outs with his fastball and getting groundball outs, which allowed him to keep his pitch count down.
Curt Schilling threw 55 pitches off of a mound today. ... Joel Pineiro was activated from the DL and Jeff Bailey was sent to Pawtucket. ... Brendan Donnelly will pitch an inning for Lowell (A) tonight.

David Ortiz phoned former hitting coach Ron “Papa Jack” Jackson a week ago.
We talked about hitting. He knows me a lot, you know what I’m saying? He saw some highlights of some of the games. He told me exactly what was wrong. He was telling me stuff about my hands. ... He noticed something. But the things he was telling me, so did Mags. I just listened better this time.
Hideki Okajima says he voted for himself about 10 times in MLB's online election for the last ASG roster spot.

Ortiz's 2006 MRI Showed Meniscus Tear

Gordon Edes, Globe:
After last night's victory, Ortiz elaborated on the condition of his knee, saying last year he had undergone an MRI that showed a small tear of the meniscus cartilage.
Ian Browne, MLB.com:
"It's been bothering me to hit like I normally do, because I use my legs a lot to hit, and I bend on my knee and put a lot of pressure on my knee. And sometimes it becomes sore, and it kind of makes me stand up more as a hitter and makes you stand up at the plate different." ...

Ortiz said that he had multiple MRIs on the knee last year, but none this season. He said there are no current plans to get more tests and the only thing that would change his course of action is if he developed inflammation.
Rob Bradford, Herald:
"I don't think I need to go in there now," said Ortiz regarding surgery. ... "I have days where I feel fine, but when I have to do a lot of running, like I had (to) tonight, the next day I come (in) a little sore from all the running," said Ortiz, who doesn't foresee undergoing any kind of surgery during the season.

July 12, 2007

Off-Topic: The Living Camera

Check out this video at L's blog.

It's one of the most unbelievable things I've ever seen!

G88: Red Sox 7, Blue Jays 4

A nine-batter, 41-pitch, four-run first inning against Halladay -- Drew single, Pedroia BB, Ortiz RBI single, Manny RBI double, Yook RBI 4-3, Lowell RBI single, Crisp FC, Mirabelli BB, Lugo single and Crisp tagged out off third -- gave the Red Sox an early boost.

Manny's sac fly made it 5-1 after two innings. Toronto got a run in the fifth and back-to-back home runs from Stairs and Rios in the sixth -- Buffy and Pat Tabler got all excited that "we got us a ball game now!" -- but a few minutes later, Boston shut them up with two runs in their sixth after two were already out (Pedroia single, Tizzle RBI double, Manny RBI single).

After Wakefield (6-9-4-0-2, 95), MDC, Jeemer and Bot swept up. ... Down in Tampa, the MFY beat the Rays 7-4 to move into second place (10 GB), while the Jays slipped to third (11 GB).

After three hours of Buffyvision, it's time for another episode of "Things I Heard":

1. In spring training, Papelbon "finally came to his senses and realized that he could have a great career as a closer in Boston" and quit being a starter (according to Buffy).

2. When Youkilis missed games in Detroit, Boston got some help at first base from "Fred Bailey" (according to Tabler).

3. The Yankees have a great chance to catch the Red Sox because they play so many games against crappy ol' Baltimore and Tampa Bay in the second half (according to Tabler).

Games after ASG v Tampa Bay and Baltimore
Yankees 14 13*
Red Sox 15 13

*: includes completion of one suspended game
So it's actually Boston that will play more games (28 to 27) against Tampa Bay and Baltimore in the second half.

There's nothin' like checking your facts before you speak!

But, hey, what do I know? Tabler's a big shot TV guy and I'm typing this in my basement.

***

Roy Halladay (4.46, 102 ERA+) / Tim Wakefield (4.39, 102 ERA+)

Baseball is back ... and it's back big!
Drew, RF
Pedroia, 2B
Ortiz, DH
Ramirez, LF
Youkilis, 1b
Lowell, 3B
Crisp, CF
Mirabelli, C
Lugo, SS
I'll be watching on Buffyvision.

First Half Wrap-Up

My first-half report card for SportsProjections.com is here.

July 11, 2007

Ortiz Likely Needs Knee Surgery (In Off-Season)

Gordon Edes, Globe:
David Ortiz privately mentioned last weekend the possibility he might require a surgical procedure on his right knee, but because of the uncertainty surrounding his condition, he said he didn't want to say anything publicly until he knew more.

But yesterday, when asked specifically about his condition by the Boston Herald, Ortiz admitted he "probably" would need a procedure after the season.

Ortiz had said in Detroit over the weekend that the knee began to bother him last season after he twisted it while fielding bunts in batting practice at Yankee Stadium ... He said he got the knee tangled in some netting and twisted it, which was the cause of his problems.

"Some days it's good, some days it isn't," Ortiz said. ...

He did not attribute the decline in his performance to injuries, including hamstring and quadriceps problems. "It's the way I'm being pitched," he said. "You just don't get anything to hit anymore."
I have a hard time believing his last comment. He's getting pitches to hit -- and he's hitting them.

He's batting .314 and slugging .516. He has has many doubles right now (29) as he had all last season. His HR numbers is down and that could be due to his inability to generate power with his legs.

Consecutive Intentional Walks

In my 1918 research, I found that over the course of two games, on June 16-17, 1918, the St. Louis Browns intentionally walked Red Sox slugger Babe Ruth in five straight plate appearances:

Sunday, June 16 at St. Louis
4th: StL 1-0, man on 2nd, 2 outs. Ruth BBI, next batter pops out.
6th: StL 1-0, man on 3rd, 2 outs. Ruth BBI, runner caught off 3rd on botched double steal attempt.
8th: Tied 1-1, man on 2nd, 2 outs. Ruth BBI, next batter grounds out 4-3.

Monday, June 17 at St. Louis
1st: Tied 0-0, man on 2nd, 2 outs. Ruth BBI, Sox score 3 runs.
2nd: Sox 3-0, Ruth was the 5th batter in this inning and was BBI, but the play-by-play was not reported.

(In the 8th, with Boston leading 6-0, Ruth came up with 2 outs and runners on 1st and 2nd. The St. Louis was cheering for Ruth to hit and the Browns decided to pitch to him. He drilled a low pitch off the wall in right center for 2 more runs. Sox won 8-0.)

I figured these five BBI were the record at that time -- no batter inspired that much fear. As I was finishing up work on the SABR 1918 book, I wanted to find out if it might still be the record.

I emailed David Smith of Retrosheet fame, and he was kind enough to help. Because of the lack of play-by-play accounts for many games in the first half of the 1900s, Smith said he could answer with any certainty only as far back as 1957.

5 Consecutive BBI
Barry Bonds, September 22-23, 2004

4 Consecutive BBI
Roger Maris, May 22, 1962
Bob Boone, August 19-20, 1980
Barry Bonds, June 29-30, 2002
Barry Bonds, April 23-24, 2004
Barry Bonds, May 1, 2004
Barry Bonds, June 12, 2004

It's not a big surprise to see Bonds's name so often, especially since he walked 198 times in 2002 and 232 (!) times in 2004. Before I heard back from Smith, I found online that Bonds had walked in seven straight plate appearances at some point, but I couldn't tell when that happened or how many of the walks had been intentional. Perhaps his string of 5 BBI was part of that streak.

It turns out it wasn't. Smith said the 5 BBI were part of a six-walk streak, not seven. Smith added that Bonds had tripled both before and after the six straight walks.

A few hours later Smith wrote back to say that he searched for the seven straight walks and found them: September 24-26, 2004 -- almost immediately after the streak of six straight walks!

That sent me off to Retrosheet for the play-by play of those games:

September 22, 2004 v Houston
1st: 2nd, 2 outs - (cb) Triple, RBI
3rd: 2nd, 2 outs - BBI
5th: 2nd, 2 outs - BBI
6th: 1st/2nd, 2 outs - BBI
8th: 2nd, 2 outs - BBI

September 23, 2004 v Los Angeles
1st: 2nd, 2 outs - BBI
3rd: empty, 1 out - (bbcb) BB
5th: empty, 2 outs - (bb) Triple
7th: empty, 2 outs - (fb) L9

September 24, 2004 v Los Angeles
2nd: leadoff - (c) Home Run
4th: empty, 1 out - (fcbbb) Strikeout looking
7th: leadoff - (bcf) Strikeout swinging
9th: 1st, 2 outs - BBI*

September 25, 2004 v Los Angeles
1st: 1st, 2 outs - BBI
3rd: empty, 2 outs - BBI
5th: 1st, 0 outs - (bfbb) BB
7th: 1st, 1 out - BBI
8th: empty, 2 outs (bfsbfb) BB

September 26, 2004 v Los Angeles
1st: empty, 1 out - (bfbb) BB
3rd: empty, 1 out - (b) Home Run
5th: leadoff - (cbbcbf) Strikeout swinging
7th: 1st, 0 outs - (fb) Reached on E4
9th: empty, 2 outs - (sbsf) Infield Single

*:(LA was up 3-2, this pushed tying run to 2nd; next batter walked, loading bases, then a line out to LF ended the game)

There is a good chance that Ruth and Bonds share the major league record with five consecutive intentional walks, although it is possible that someone may unearth evidence that Ruth, Ted Williams or some other great hitter was passed six times in a row.

July 10, 2007

ASG 78: American 5, National 4

Ichiro hits the first inside-the-park home run in All-Star game history -- very surprised that hadn't happened before.

Beckett gets credit the win. Box

AL                 NL
Suzuki, CF Reyes, SS
Jeter, SS Bonds, LF
Ortiz, 1B Beltran, CF
A Rodriguez, 3B Griffey, RF
Guerrero, RF Wright, 3B
Ordonez, LF Fielder, 1B
I Rodriguez, C Martin, C
Polanco, 2B Utley, 2B
Haren, P Peavy, P

The Joy Of Sox Nickname Glossary

A work-in-progress.

Arrojoness: Describes a bad performance. "Mike Remlinger is showing his Arrojoness tonight." From Rolando Arrojo.

Assman: Scott Proctor. From Jere.


Bartleby: Mark Bellhorn - Character in Herman Melville's 1853 story "Bartleby the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street", who often said: "I would prefer not to." Bellhorn did not swing at a lot of pitches.


BBellhorn: Mark Bellhorn - He drew walks; pronounced "Buh-Bellhorn".

Being: Manny Ramirez - Used at Over The Monster.

Big Donkey: Justin Masterson - Used by Sean Casey, September 2007 (see first comment).

Big Eunuch: Randy Johnson - Known as the Big Unit. aka The Big Ugly.

Bot: Jonathan Papelbon - Automatic out-getter. aka Papelbot, Snuffer.


Brak Brak: see Ococ. (Dgo vdieo hree).

Brandon: Bronson Arroyo - Tim McCarver has no idea who he is.

Bronx Bigot: Mike Mussina. Likely player alluded to by Peter Gammons in January 2000 ESPN column as someone who "has splattered" locker rooms with John Rocker-esque racist comments. Boasted he would never play in New York.

Bronx Bonger: Jeff Weaver - You mean he's not a stoner?


Buckethead: Kevin Millar - see KFK.

Buffy: Jamie Campbell, Blue Jays play-by-play announcer, Rogers Sportnet - Looks the little boy from Family Affair (whose actual name on the show was Jody and his sister was the one called Buffy, but Buffy is the name you think of if you think of the show, and it sounds better).


BuffyVision: The "station" on which I watch Red Sox/Blue Jays games in Canada.

Cabin Mirror: Kevin Millar - In early 2003, as the Red Sox tried to get Millar out of the Japanese contract he had signed, a SoSHer ran an online Japanese article through Bablefish, which translated Millar's name as Cabin Mirror. At a Boston book signing, a SoSHer told this to Millar. He was amused. Also used with Seinfeld line: "Cherish the cabin" and as either "Cabin" or "Mirror". aka KFK.

Cactus: Jason Varitek - On August 15, 2009, as the Rangers stole eight bases in eight tries on Varitek, Kevin asked: "Can we just sit a cactus behind home plate? I think it would have more luck throwing out runners..."

Cap'n Intangibles: Derek Jeter - The calm-eyed Yankees captain whose intangibles have been well documented. aka CI.


CI: See Cap'n Intangibles.

CHB/Curly Haired Boyfriend: Globe employee Dan Shaughnessy - Coined by an angry Carl Everett, who told the Globe's Gordon Edes to get out of the locker room "and take your curly haired boyfriend with you". Popularized and shortened to initials by Boston Sports Guy Bill Simmons. It remains Everett's greatest contribution to Red Sox history, greater even than ending Mussina's perfect game with two outs in the 9th.

Chocolate Rain: Edwar Ramirez - MFY pitcher. Coined by nixon33 (see Tay Zonday).

Cookie Monster: David Ortiz - Coined by his daughter.

Corpse of, the: A player who appears to be deceased yet is still employed in an MLB uniform. Has been used for many players, including Troy O'Leary, Dante Bichette, Tony Clark, Bernie Williams.

Derek Lowe Face: Exasperated facial expression when things don't go your way. aka: The Face. Known in other communities as the Jeff Weaver Face.


Dong: What everyone on the face of the Earth will (soon) be calling a home run. It all started on August 24, 2007.

Doung: A dong hit by Jason Bay (Canadian).

Dr. Doubles: Mike Lowell - According to Snuffer, it's what his teammates call him.

drewplaining: The act of complaining about J.D. Drew's poor performance in various rate statistics, such as RBI.

Dushbag: Fat Billy can't spell.

Dumbo: Jorge Posada - Coined by Pedro Martinez for the big-eared MFY catcher. aka Passedballa.

Einstein: Alex Cora - Why are only minimally-talented players so often described as the smartest in the game?

El Guapo: Rich Garces - From the movie "The Three Amigos".

E-Z Pass: Former third base coach Dave Sveum.

Fat Billy from Ohio/FBfO: Roger Clemens - His first name is William. He was born in Ohio. He's fat. Any questions? aka TCM.

FKR: FucKing Rays - They have become highly annoying in recent years.


Flo: David Ortiz - From Florida Evans, the name of the Good Times character played by Esther Rolle, to whom Ortiz bears a striking resemblance. aka: Tiz, Tizzle, Cookie Monster, Almighty God.

Fruitbat: Mariano Rivera - He looks like one. Coined by SoSH's Lanternjaw.

Fuck Yeah: Dustin Pedroia - From his common exclamation upon doing well in the field. Example: After his highlight-reel play to preserve Clay Buchholz's no-hitter:



FY: See Fuck Yeah.

G38: Curt Schilling - From his SoSH handle: Gehrig38. aka Blabbermouth.

Gasbag: Peter Gammons - Used more often during the Dan Duquette era when Gammons had to get in a swipe/dig/insult at the Sox GM in every single story he wrote (even if it was about the hot dog vendor for the Brewers' A club). aka Old Hickory, Gammo.

GDGD: GodDamn GameDay.

Gerbil: Don Zimmer - Second dumbest man in the history of dumb. aka %$@*#&*.


Gidget: Derek Lowe - In July 2004, he was asked about his state of mind. "When Pedro or Curt or anybody pitches a bad game, they pitch bad. I pitch bad and I'm a Mental Gidget."


Grinning Jackass: Grady Little - As the Red Sox's chance at a win melted away, usually due to his idiotic managing, he was often seen smiling like an idiot in the dugout. aka Gump, Huckleberry Happytalk.

Gumball: Jeff Bailey - Was using a gumball machine at a truck stop between Scranton and Rochester in the wee hours of the morning when he was told that the Red Sox were calling him up.

Gump: Grady Little - The dumbest man in the history of ever. aka Grinning Jackass.

Homre: See doung (thanks to Joe Grav).

HGH: Jason Giambi - MLB tests for steroids, so this is How Giambi Hits.


HH: Clay Buchholz. aka Laptop.

Hombre: Alan Embree.

Horseface: Andy Pettitte. aka Tucan (Sam).

Houdini: Jon Lester - For his remarkable ability in his rookie season to, after letting several guys on base, pitch out of trouble. Used in reference to Daisuke Matsuzaka in 2008.

Jeemer: Hideki Okajima - From Remy's pronunciation.

Joe Migraine: Devil Rays announcer Joe Magraine.

JtC: Joba Chamberlain - From Josh Beckett's dugout admonition to the MFY reliever after he threw two pitches at/over Yook's head: "Get out of here, you fucking cunt!" aka: Joba the Hut.

KFK: Kevin Millar - Did Kentucky Fried Chicken commercials, in which he swung a drumstick a la Carlton Fisk in 1975 World Series. aka: Cabin Mirror, Buckethead, Oreck.

Laptop: Clay Buchholz - Boston Globe, March 31, 2006: "Clay Buchholz, a righthander from Angelina Junior College in Texas, was taken last summer with a first-round sandwich pick by the Sox, as other teams passed because Buchholz had been arrested for stealing 29 laptops from his high school and selling them." aka: HH.


LBJ: Jacoby Ellsbury - My partner Laura is quite taken with our young outfielder. Briefly known as "Laura's Boy Jacoby", quickly shortened to LBJ. aka: Lyndon, Dreamboat. (Coined September 3, 2007)

Lyndon: See LBJ.

"Make Tito Apologize": Said when the Red Sox are piling up runs. Refers to the Red Sox's 25-8 win over the Marlins in June 27, 2003, after which Gump apologized to Florida manager Jack McKeown for supposedly running up the score. Naturally, the very next fucking night, Boston scored seven times in the 6th, but Shithead Gump eased up with a 9-2 lead. Florida got four in the eighth and four in the ninth and won the goddamn game 10-9. Moral: NEVER stop scoring runs.

Malphabet: Doug Mientkiewicz - His last name is hard to spell. aka Eyechart or "M" and then slap random keys on your typewriter, e.g., Msldkh'VHJS.

Mayor, the: Sean Casey -- He got the nickname while playing for the Reds because of his outgoing personality and willingness to chat with anyone.


MBM: Manny Being Manny - The process of putting up Hall of Fame batting stats and being an all-around entertaining person.

McMoron: Tim McCarver. Once a good announcer, now hopelessly senile.

MDC: Manny Delcarmen.

MFY: No explanation necessary. aka: the Chokers, Evil Empire, EE.

Microwave, the: Darnell McDonald - Coined by Dustin Pedroia after McDonald's pinch-hit home run and game-winning single against Texas on April 20, 2010.

Milk Dud: Melky Cabrera - From MFY "Melk Man" shirts and the fact that he's no good.

MManny: Manny Ramirez - See BBellhorn.

Mockery: Lou Merloni - Who said after being demoted to Pawtucket: "I'm frustrated about the way the organization has portrayed my career. In a sense, they have made a mockery of my career and a joke of it." Not too much later, Ben Affleck said during a NESN telecast: "Hitting .192 is making a mockery of your career."

Mop, the: Kyle Farnsworth - From George King of the New York Post, April 18, 2008 (JoS mention here).

Mordecai: Kevin Brown - From Deadball Era pitcher Mordecai "Three-Finger" Brown, after he punched a wall in New York and broke two of his fingers on his pitching hand.

Mr. Hankee: Hank Steinbrenner. The latest Bronx clown is unable to shut his pie hole, so he's usually saying something stupid and inappropriate (examples). aka: Hankapalooza, Hankenstein.

Mr. Weebles: "Coined" by Jimy Williams in a fictional interview by BSG Bill Simmons ("As you probably know, Mr. Weebles is the microscopic man that lives in my mouth and orders me to make some of my quirkier moves.")

Mrs. Garret: Garret Anderson, after the character Edna Garrett from The Facts Of Life sitcom.

Muddy Chicken: Dustin Pedroia.

MUMS: Made Up Manny Shit - The lies, rumours and assorted unsourced bullshit the sports media spews about Manny Ramirez.

Napkin, the: John Burkett - Coined by SoSH's Maalox: "When you have to wipe your ass and you're all out of toilet paper, a napkin is better than nothing." I.e., he ain't Pedro, but he'll do if he's all you got.

Nomar Garciapopup: Former shortstop with the maddening habit (OCD?) of swinging at the first pitch (and often hitting it straight up in the air). aka Nosmarts.

Noriega: Rudy Seanez - Separated at birth from the Panamanian dictator.

Oatmeal, We Have Oatmeal: In 2007, when the night's lineups would be posted online, I'd often announce them in the game thread with: "We Have Lineups!" That reminded me of a sign you often see in diners/coffee shops: a paper plate tacked up on the wall with "We Have Oatmeal!" written on it - with a little smiley face. It must be a diner tradition. So Oatmeal = Lineup(s).

Ococ: Coco Crisp - Coined by my partner Laura. Why were some TV announcers, even after Nomar had been in the majors for more than 10 years, still informing us that his name came from his father's name (Ramon) spelled backwards? And why did they say it as if a huge secret was being revealed? As time went on, Laura and I would say stuff like: "Hey, did you know that Pedro's father's name is Ordep?" She soon dubbed Coco Crisp "Ococ" (pronounced Ock-ock). This ties in with a classic from fellow blogger Jere. In June 2005, he posted some pictures of the Red Sox's trip to Cleveland. One caption: "Jhonny Peralta was dropped off by his wife or girlfriend, who brought the dog along for the ride. 'Brak, brak, I'm Jhonny Peralta's dgo!'"


Old Hickory: Peter Gammons - From his resemblance to Andrew "OH" Jackson (the 7th US president) on the current US $20 bill. aka: Gasbag, Gammo, the Commissioner.


Old Yeller: Mike Timlin - It's time.

On Fire: J.D. Drew - First used September 11, 2007. See here.

Oreck: Kevin Millar - Coined by Laura. Oreck makes vacuum cleaners that really suck up the dirt. In 2005, Millar simply sucked. aka Cabin Mirror, KFK, Buckethead.

Papelbot: See Bot.

Passedballa: Jorge Posada - Not the best defensive catcher in baseball. Usually shouted gleefully at the TV as yet another MFY pitcher's pitch is rolling to the backstop (Dumbo doesn't even have to be playing). aka Dumbo.

Peanuthead: Bernie Williams - e.g., his bald head.

Pedro: Ramon Ramirez - see here.

Professional, the: Bill Mueller - Always described on broadcasts as "a professional hitter". aka Pro.


Psycho Field: Safeco Field, Seattle - Coined by Julian Tavarez, July 2006.

Orson: David Wells - From another large man, Orson Welles.

RATS: Runners At Second and/or Third - A more accurate description than RISP (Runners In Scoring Position).

Red Dot: Scott Kazmir - From the sweater in Seinfeld episode #29. ("When I was a little girl in Panama ...")

Rico Baldy: Rocco Baldelli - NESN had two kids read the lineups on May 7, 2009 and the kid doing the Red Sox batting order - a possible graduate of the Remy School Of Reading Promos (not looking at it at all before going live) - stumbled over Baldelli's name. It's also used at Center Field.

Ringo: Doug Mirabelli - From Ringo Starr, a marginally talented person who lucked into the greatest gig in the world. aka Stud Who Hits Bombs, SWHB.

Rob Dribble: Former pitcher Rob Dibble, current sports media moron. You'll get better (and more coherent) analysis from a resin bag.

Rutheberg: Scott Hatteberg - Coined by Peter Gammons, during his anti-Sox period, in a season preview at ESPN dated March 30, 2002: "And the monster springs from Jeremy Giambi -- who may have grown up out of his brother's shadow, especially after a winter of strict conditioning -- and Scott Rutheberg (aka, Hatteberg) may get them by for awhile." (Hatteberg had had a very strong spring training and Gammons was taking a back-handed swipe at Dan Duquette for letting SH leave via free agency.)

SASAHE: Swinging At Shit Around His Eyes - Usually directed at Jason Varitek, who has a serious problem laying off very high fastballs. This is made doubly annoying by his frequent attempts to get opposing hitters to do the same by coming out of his crouch as a high pitch is being delivered. Unfortunately, it almost never works.

Saturn Nuts: Bronson Arroyo - Inspired by Curt Schilling, who posted in the SoSH Game Thread before 2004 ALDS Game 3: "Friday is going to be a legit struggle, got a team fighting for its life against a kid making his first ever post season start, FWIW I take the kid Friday night, he's got nuts the size of Saturn." aka: Saturn Nads, Saturn, Brandon.


Seabass: Alex Gonzalez - Coined by Kevin Millar for his (Seabass's) perpetually sullen game-face.

Seabiscuit: Shea Hillenbrand. From Laura Hillenbrand's best-selling book.

Secret Weapon: Julio Lugo - from a MLB.com headline of May 8, 2009.

Sewing Circle: This blog - Noted by a troll named NewJerseyYankee on July 8, 2009: "What a little sewing circle you have created here."

Sexy Lips: Julian Tavarez - During a Fox broadcast in July 2006, he told Papelbon the two horses he owns are pretty because, like him, they have sexy lips. aka: Yo-Yo (used by Red Sox teammates).

SiaS/Shit in a Suit: George Steinbrenner - A SoSH original. aka FiaT/Feces in a Turtleneck.

Slappy McBluelips: Alex Rodriguez - aka: E-Rod, Mr. April, April-Rod, Alice.


Shemp: Hideki Matsui - There is a strong resemblance.


Snook: Doug Mientkiewicz - Coined by David Ortiz, mentioned in Globe article. aka Malphabet.

Snuffer: Jonathan Papelbon - He snuffs out any chance of opponents' scoring. aka Bot.

Spiders: Cleveland Indians. A better and non-racist name.

Stade Fasciste: Yankee Stadium - the name is actually a better fit for the brand new dump than it was for the 1976-2008 dump. aka the Toilet.

Statue, the: Todd Walker - Minimal range at 2B.

Stud Who Hits Bombs/SWHB: Doug Mirabelli - From Dougie's Diary.

Sultan of Sweat, the: Kevin Youkilis.

Tery: Terry Francona - From "Jimy" Williams, when Tito does something stupid. aka Francoma.


TCM: See Texas Con Man.

Texas Con Man: Roger Clemens - Coined by the late Globe sportswriter Will McDonough. aka TCM, Fat Billy.

Toilet, the: Yankee Stadium - SoSH origin: So many asses sit there. Also looks like a bedpan from the air. aka Stade Fasciste.

Thermos, the: Tony Clark - With the Red Sox in 2002, his bat stayed cold while all his teammates were hot.

Truped: Being suckered into believing a home run has been hit when it clearly has not. From long-time Red Sox radio announcer Jerry Trupiano's excited calls -- "Swing and a drive! WAY BACK! WAY BACK!" -- on anything from a pop-up to short center field to an obvious foul ball down the line, to actually home runs. In 13 years calling Red Sox games, he never figured out what we all learned at age 10: watch the outfielder. Responsible for perhaps hundreds of car accidents throughout New England. (You can also be truped by poor camerawork while watching TV.)

Way Back: Former Sox pitcher John Wasdin - who allowed a lot of home runs (thus prompting many "WAY BACK!" calls from Jerry Trupiano).

"We Have Oatmeal": See Oatmeal.

White Flag: Mike Timlin - Bringing him into a game is giving up on any chance of a win. aka Old Yeller, Toast, Toasty McWhiteflag.

World's Strongest Jew/WSJ: Gabe Kapler - aka the Hebrew Hammer. aka Kotter.

WOTS: Tanyon Sturtze - Always referred to as "Worcester's Own Tanyon Sturtze".


Yook: Kevin Youkilis - aka Sultan of Sweat, Greek God of Walks (from the book "Moneyball"). FYI: Francona: "I've seen him in the locker room. He's not the Greek God of anything.".

DFA List / Rarely Used

Adebisi: Jose Contreras - From character on HBO's Oz.

Dimmer: Eric Gagne - In LA, his nickname was "Lights Out". Since he'll be primarily a set-up man in Boston, he's more like "Lights Almost Out" now. He will dim the lights. [Sept. 2007 note: Or not.]

Jesus: Johnny Damon - Re his 2004 hair and beard. aka Charlie Manson, Noodle.

Noodle Arm: Johnny Damon - Obvious. aka: Noodle, Judas, "Who?".

SheaAAA: Shea Hillenbrand - Player of questionable major league talent, given 3B job out of spring traning in 2001 by Mr. Weebles. aka Seabiscuit.

Super Genius: Wily Mo Pena - From Wily E. Coyote. aka WMP.

July 9, 2007

Red Sox Since June 4: 16-16

Talk about posts that write themselves!

What follows is most of an email I received from Pete:

*****

I'm not a big number cruncher but the lost weekend in Detroit prompted me to open Excel to try and make sense of what the Sox have been doing since they flew to Oakland on June 4.

In short, Boston's pedestrian 16-16 record since then can largely be attributed to its performance against five teams which -- for whatever reason -- got really hot: Detroit, Seattle, Texas, Colorado, and San Diego.

Those five teams were .504 on June 4 (82-win pace) and .591 on July 8 (96-win pace).

The Red Sox went 5-11 (.300) against them. All other teams went 58-80 (.420) against them.

During the 34-day period -- Monday, June 4 (at Oakland) to Sunday July 8 (at Detroit) -- the Sox played 32 games against 10 teams and went 16-16.

Boston's record against opponents other than the Hot Five: 11-5 (.688) (111-win
pace)

And, if you're still reading: Number of cross country flights Boston took in 34 days: Four (Boston to Oakland, Arizona to Boston, Atlanta to San Diego, Seattle to Boston)

*****

Thanks Pete!

Also, since June 4:

The MFY went 18-13 and gained 2 games in the standings (12.5 to 10.5). At this pace, it will take New York roughly 188 games to catch Boston this season. (Take that, Murray Chass!)

The Blue Jays went 16-15 and stayed the same in the standings (10.5).

July 8, 2007

The Break

No Red Sox baseball for almost 99 hours -- from the end of today's game at 4:17 to 7:00 on Thursday night when the Blue Jays visit Fenway.

Before G88 gets underway, I'll link to a first-half wrap-up I did for another website. I'm also going to try to finish the infamous Nickname post.

If you haven't entered the Papi Walkoff contest (see right-hand column), do it now. There are still 23 dates available: 2 in July, 6 in August and 15 in September.