Wednesday, August 31, 2011

My goodness, he turned off the lights!

Last night, John Lackey gave up 5 runs in 7 innings to the New York Yankees. While the Yankees’s offense is among the top 2 or 3 in baseball, this is not a good start. And yet, because of starts from earlier this season where he couldn’t even make it out of the third or fourth innings before giving up 7, 8 or 9 runs, it seems like a certain faction in Red Sox Nation thinks that 5 runs in 7 innings (or 4 in 6 like some other recent starts) is acceptable and maybe even good! They are acting like the mother of a 25 year old son who still lives in the basement and is unemployed and the mother gets excited when the fully grown man remembers to turn off his “bedroom” light.

Friday, August 26, 2011


Jeopardy is in its 28th season. The Wheel of Fortune has been spinning for 29 years. Families have been Feuding for 35 years. The Price has been Right for a whopping 39 years. In the last decade and a half shows like Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, The Weakest Link and (regrettably) Deal or No Deal have captured the collective consciousness of the viewing public for fleeting moments of time. The American game show landscape needs a Bob-Barker-level face lift and I have just the game to yank the skin folds back: Erotic Photo Hunt*.

*A huge tip of the hat to Sexy Boston Sports' Head Gamer Sadie Sloe Gin, whose love of this game inspired my idea. Her love runs so deep that she tried to get me to go to the townie bar this past Sunday at 1 PM to play EPH all day...

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Future of Kevin Youkilis

This post is inspired by a post I read yesterday from the blog Boston Sports Then and Now where the writer, Eddie Nieves, questioned, “Have we seen the best of Kevin Youkilis?”
In 2006, a 27-year-old Kevin Youkilis established himself as a starter for the Boston Red Sox and over the next two years, developed power, hit for average, and played Gold Glove defense at first. Youkilis came third in MVP voting in 2008 when he enjoyed a career year batting .312 with 29 home runs, 119 runs batted in, and 91 runs scored. This was the third straight year his abilities at the plate improved. Unfortunately, that may have been his peak.  Since playing 145 games in both 2007 and 2008, his performance and his ability to stay healthy has been in decline. What if Youkilis is incapable of succeeding at third base?

The post continues on to show some not all that compelling facts about Youk’s career since that 2008 season, but the most interesting of which is a stat that I am sure will blow the minds of many many fans out there: since 2009, Youk has played 348 games; in that same time, J.D. “Nancy” Drew has played in 353. I will let that sink in for a second. The man most of Red Sox nation finds to be tough as nails has played fewer games over the last three seasons than the man most of Red Sox nation finds to be tough as snails. The guy who is supposed to be a centerpiece of this team, who bats in the middle of the order, who bleeds baseball has played in fewer games than a guy who is now a platoon player, who supposedly milks injuries and who is 3 years older. But my post isn’t an attempt to once again show how underrated J.D. Drew has been or to say that Youk has been overrated, it's actually quite the opposite (save for his defense at third, although I think people are realizing now that it is poor). I want to take a look at what the Red Sox can expect from Youk in the future based off  his recent performances and, more interestingly, his top comparable players.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Money for Nothing (NBA Remix)

Last night, Sadie Sloe Gin told me how excited she was for the upcoming NBA season. Though my cockels were thoroughly warmed, my heart was simultaneously breaking because I fear we will have no NBA season this year. I thought I would channel that heartbreak into a song...

Friday, August 19, 2011

Don't be a pezmist, be an optometrist

I haven't had to write one of these posts since April, but it seems like there is some panic washing over Sox Nation yet again. Apparently a 99 win pace, being ½ a game out of first place and all but guaranteed a playoff spot is cause for concern these days? How spoiled we’ve become. What’s worse is these fears are creeping up right as we go to Kansas City to face a team that has had to suffer through listening to Joe Buck and Tim McCarver every post season since 1985 just like the rest of us rather than playing meaningful games. Shame on you. But this post isn’t meant as a tisk tisk for the Fenway Faithful, its purpose is to remind you all of how good things are. As Ricky from Trailer Park Boys would say, “I’m an optometrist.”

Thursday, August 18, 2011

What to Watch For: Preseason Game 2 vs. Tampa Bay

1.) Return of the Dead Eye: After sitting out Preseason Game 1, Brady will be getting the start tonight. All reports out of training camp are that he looks great; but how will the foot hold up in live action? With Matt Light unlikely to play, Nate Solder quickly becomes the most important player on the field. Solder played well last week, but can he protect the most valuable man in football against an aggressive Tampa D? God do I hope so.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Triple Haaaaaayyyyy

In Game 2 of the twin bill against the Tampa Bay Rays, the Red Sox pulled off something they haven't done since 1994: a triple play. In the top of the fourth inning, down 2-1, Erik Bedard gave up consecutive singles to B.J. Upton and former Red Sox Casey Kotchman (remember that?) to open the inning. Then, almost instinctively, I looked up from my game of Erotic Photo Hunt (more on this in a later post) as Sean Rodriguez hit a 1-0 Bedard offering to third base.

Jed Lowrie scooped the rolling sphere, took a step and a shuffle to his right and touched third for out number one. He quickly pivoted ever so slightly towards second where he whips the ball to an impatient Dustin Pedroia. Pedroia grabs the ball for out two and in one fluid motion takes one step backwards, plants, leaps and uncorks "Laser Show's" cousin, "Cannon Show". As Rodriguez strides closer to first, Adrian Gonzalez reaches out and to his right and snatches the ball from the air just before the runner touches the bag and the ump pumps an enthusiastic, "yer outta there!" Some say the home run is the most exciting play in baseball, some say it is the triple, some say it is the leaping catch over the wall, but after seeing this play live last night, I have to say it is the triple play.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Some quick thoughts on last nights 47-12 drubbing of Jacksonville


  • Taylor Price: The second year receiver went a long way to securing a roster spot last night. He had 5 catches for 105 yards and a ridiculous TD Catch. Price looked fast on some catch and runs down sideline, and showed ability to go over the middle. Some poor decisions on punt returns, and alligator arming a would be pick (negated by an unnecessary roughness penalty) we minor blemishes on an otherwise impressive night. 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

What to Watch For: Preseason Game 1 vs. Jacksonville

Football is finally back and so am I. There is plenty to catch up on, as the Pats have made some big splashes since the lockout ended, and I'll post about those in due time. Xmark emailed me 2 weeks ago to put up a post about the acquisitions, but I was on a 2 week vacation; and faced with the decision between sitting on the beach or sitting in front of my laptop my was no choice at all. If it makes you feel any better, I was lobster red with a goof burn for a few days after, as I decided I had as much interest in sunscreen as I did writing.

Yes, I'm aware that most people couldn't care less about preseason football. Yes, I'm aware the game will be very sloppy and probably pretty boring. That's ok, because I'll still be watching. This is where position battles and roster spots are won; breakout players are spotted and we get to see cheerleaders for the first time this year. For those of you who care to watch here's a quick list of the top things you should pay attention to:

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Through the Beer Goggles: Bedard Got Squoze Last Night

5 Innings; 2 Runs; 3 Hits; 4 Walks; 6 Strike outs

In his second appearance with the Red Sox since coming over from the Seattle Mariners, Erik Bedard turned in a classic Siskel and Ebert start (one thumb up, one thumb down…I know, shitty metaphor…I owe you a full refund on this column). After a first inning that saw him issue four walks to the team with the 3rd fewest walks in all of baseball, Bedard settled down to shut the Twins out for the next four innings before exiting because of a limited pitch count. However, were it not for some questionable calls from Tim “The Giant” McClelland (follow the link for video of one of the weirdest and worst calls in baseball history), Bedard’s start could have been two thumbs up, four out of five stars and a certified fresh rating (that’s right, I stuck with it).

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Yankees are coming! The Yankees are coming!

Remember when Colon was on the Sox?

So this may not seem like any kind of revolutionary post with the Yankees both literally (playing in Boston this weekend) and figuratively (now tied for first in the AL East) coming, but I swear I planned on writing this earlier in the week before they systematically destroyed the Chicago White Sox while Boston was busy playing Cleveland to a draw. At the beginning of the week, despite a 2 game lead in the division, I noticed that the Yankees had surpassed, by a decent margin, the Red Sox run differential. Run differential is how much a team has outscored (or been outscored by) their opponents on the season and it is generally a better predictor of future success than straight win-loss record. In addition, I was looking at each teams pitching staffs in the wake of the Erik Bedard trade (looked pretty good last night; most hits were pretty flukey; good velocity and good location) and what I noticed was pretty scary. Once thought to be a weakness for the Yanks, their rotation now looks strong to quite strong. Coupled with an offense only a tick below the Red Sox (only 12 fewer runs scored on the season), the Yankees may be the best team in baseball. 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Through the Beer Goggles: Another Walkoff

With Sadie Sloe Gin out for the night rehearsing with her new awesome band Sadie Sloe Gin, I sat down with some beers and the landlord of the Sexy Boston Sports lair Adam Boyce and watched the Boston Red Sox take on the Cleveland Indians. This is what I observed through the beer goggles…

Top first inning: For those who don’t know, Tim Wakefield is taking the mound attempting to win his 200th game. He is the active leader in career wins with a 16 win advantage over Roy Halladay. He is still 7 short (185) of the Red Sox career record of 192 wins held by Cy Young and Roger Clemens so he is going to have to go on some kind of streak to get that record this year. He sets the Indians down 1-2-3 and the knuckleball is dancing.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Trade Deadline Thoughts

It Wasn't Meant To Be
Since the trade deadline is the time for wacky rumors and unfulfilled promises, let’s start with the top 3 players traded at the deadline, all of whom the Red Sox (or at least the fans) had some interest in. I am talking about Ubaldo Jimenez, Carlos Beltran and Hunter Pence. First of all, there was no way the Sox could have topped any of the packages that Colorado, New York and Houston received for these players. Drew Pomeranz, Zach Wheeler and Jared Cosart are all projected to be number 1 or 2 starters in this league and all would have ranked as the Red Sox top prospect. The current top pitcher in the Red Sox system is Anthony Ranaudo and he is not nearly as well-regarded as these 3 guys. Colorado and Houston also each received a second prospect (Alex White and John Singleton, respectively) who would have ranked on par with Ranaudo and Will Middlebrooks. Add in the fact that I don’t think Boston needed Beltran and Pence and I can go to sleep at night being ok with the fact that the Sox didn’t get any of these players.