David Bowden, the 21 year old called up from Pawtucket to make his first major league start, currently holds a 5-1 lead on the White Sox. Red Sox continue to make Theo Epstein look very, very good, with recent acquistions Mark Kotsay and Jason Bay. Both had big doubles and the Red Sox continue to have good news today so far, with the Beckett update and the Yankee loss today.
P.S. of course I have to listen to the Hawk, the worst baseball broadcaster of all time, already dropping his famous :"ducks on the pond", referring to the Red Sox as the bad guys , constantly using the term "we" including himself as a part of the team. Oh John Sterling,. I could event listen to you now.
Well, in typical Beast fashion, it's been 10 days since I posted, but let's just consider that my homage to Red Sox Ace Josh Beckett, who was scratched 3 separate times from his starts and two days ago I read one of the worst things you can read when it comes to your teams ace starting pitcher - Dr. James Andrews! Thankfully Dr. Andrews has eased the fears of Red Sox Nation, and it appears that Beckett's elbow is structurally sound, no concerns regarding the elbow. The Sox retroactively put Josh on the DL, and he could pitch Friday in Texas. Meanwhile, the Sox keep chugging along, winning 2 of 3 from the Yankees, beating the White Sox last night, and today another young up and comer (21 year old Michael Bowden) from their minor league system gets a shot to pitch.
In other news, both John "insane " McCain has picked his running mate, Sarah Palin? Who? - exactly. Check out this link to a great article from Huffington Post, and this paragraph in particular really captures the legitimate concerns.
It's one thing to discuss how unqualified Sarah Palin is. That's a national matter and huge. But on a grassroots political level, her nomination takes away the Republicans' ONLY weapon in the campaign - calling Barack Obama inexperienced. They haven't even been trying to run on the issues, or on the eight-year record of George Bush, which John McCain has supported almost 95% of the time. They've only been running on the faux-issue of Barack Obama's experience of 14 years in federal and state government. Yes, Sarah Palin is merely running for VP, not president, but with a 72 year-old candidate with a history of serious medical issues, this is who they're saying is able to step in as president in a heart-beat. She has so little experience that she makes Sen. Obama look like FDR, Winston Churchill and Julius Caesar combined. So, the Republicans pulled the rug out from under themselves. They have no issues. The economy? Housing? The national debt? Education? The Environment? Iraq? Afghanistan? Nothing. All they have is "Dear Democratic women: please pretend our VP candidate is Hillary Clinton. Just forget that she's pro-life. And against most things Democrats stand for." http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-j-elisberg/the-worst-vice-presidenti_b_122491.html
I'll have more to say later, and also a bunch of reviews, as I try to catch up and get back (or maybe begin) to blog consistently.
Dude, it's one thing to lose Manny. It hurts having Wakefield on the DL, no Schilling all year. Bucholz struggling, Tek not hitting, missing Dice -K. All not good. But reading today that Beckett is experiencing numbness and tingling in his right (pitching) arm? Since Sunday - NOT FREAKING GOOD. This Wildcard race is gonna go to the wire, and the Sox need all hands on board to make the playoffs. Once in, with a healthy rotation of Beckett, Dice-K, Lester, and Wakefield, with Paps closing games, and Okajima being solid, gives them a solid shot at beating anyone. But not without Beckett.
I purposely stole one of my favorite sayings for WFAN radios sports host Joe Beningo. I did this for the title because announcers are on my mind, after the brutality of last nights WGN broadcast of the Red Sox /White Sox game. The good part was the Red Sox and Dice-K looked great, and with the Yankee loss the Red Sox picked up another game of space. The brutal.... Chicago White Sox sportscaster and WGN employee Hawk Harrelson. Truly, truly awful, he may well be the worst broadcaster I have ever seen. Don't forget, living here in N.J. I have to suffer with Michael Kay and John Sterling (Sterling/Susan Waldman is a very, very close second with Harrelson.)
The most annoying part had to be Harrelson with his trademark "He gone," which he utters every time a White Sox player hits a home run. I've also heard him say things "Git outta here, go on" - It's one thing to be a homer, but the level of obnoxiousness mixed with his butchery of the english language, and his grating redneck tone - well, all we can hope for is a tumble from the booth down the steps, leading to us never hearing from him again. Do White Sox fans actually like this guy?
Here's a link to a website to truly ensuring that "he gone", looking for the removal of Hawk. Please join me in supporting their efforts.
Brian Giles, San Diego Padres outfielder, blocked a waiver deal that would have brought him to the Red Sox for the last 2 months of the season. He could have picked up an extra 2 million for the trade and then resigned with San Diego next year, returning to his home. He blocked the trade. So let's see, a 37 year old guy with a team that is tied for the worst record in baseball (with washington) had a chance to come and play with the A.L. Wildcard leading defending champion Boston Red Sox, a team looking for it's 3rd title in 5 seasons, and he said NO. There's a word for that, actually a few. GUTLESS. COWARDLY. SELFISH. LOSER. What's the point of playing if you don't take advantage of opportunities to win? Less playing time would be likely (almost definitely) in Boston, but you don't see Sean Casey crying about that. So my thoughts for Giles are FU!
Well, after sweeping the Oakland A's to start the L.W.M. era, the Sox lost to the K.C. Royals on Monday night. The team rebounded nicely and beat K.C. last night 8-2, with new star J Bay going 4-5. The team is now 4-1 since he arrived, and as I type this the evil empire is leading Texas 5-3 in the 7th inning, the Rays already won, the Twins won, and the Sox are leading 8-2. If it all holds up it's a wash for the day.
I don't know if anyone remembers my words regarding Yankee wunderkid Joba Chamberlain, specifically his classless bs in the game a few weeks ago against the Red Sox, especially with his constant headhunting of Kevin Youkoulis. I stated I wanted his arm blown out... well, the news isn't that good, but JOBA is HURT!!! - I almost never root for injuries for any player, but there is a short list of punks, scumbags, and all around douchebags that are not covered by this sense of good will, and Joba is one of them. (Others include T.O., Pac Man Jones, Ron Artest, Isiah Thomas, Bill Laimbeer, Roger Clemens, and Bruce Bowen... possibly Kobe Bryant as well.)
So now Joba is on the DL and is visiting with Dr. James Andrews, noted orthopedist... and all I can say is hey, Joba... don't fuck with Red Sox Nation, bitch!!!
Currently have TNT by AC/DC pumping out... well, as pumping out music can be through small laptop speakers on a Dell, but I digress... anyway, does anyone else remember this song playing in the beginning credits of an HBO show about a family of bail bondsman, I think from N.Y. now this is going to bug me.
Anyway, checking in today with 2 movie reviews. First is the absolutely terrific Rushmore, directed by Wes Anderson, co written by Anderson and Owen Wilson, and stars Bill Murray in the first of his many dour, downbeat roles. The film also introduces us to "Max Fisher" , played by Jason Schwartzman. His Max is perfect, a goofy blend of a kid who was a bit of an oddball, but with good reason. His mother died, his father was a kind but somewhat limited man, and Max throws himself into being a student at the private prep academy, Rushmore. This is one of my 2 favorite Wes anderson films, along with The Royal Tennenbaums. I enjoyed the Darjeeling Limited but feel no need to own it. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou probably deserves another look. I also have a fondness for his first film, Bottle Rocket. I discovered it when I first began to educate myself about independent film, so that is probably why I have an unusual fondness for it.
Rushmore also came out the year I started dating my wife, and we recently watched the criterion edition dvd together, a great gift from her from last Christmas! - We have a lot of movies to watch, it often takes a long time to get to a flick. Add in Netflix and well.. you see the problem.
By the way, Red Sox finish the sweep yesterday, a nice start to life post Manny!
So the second game in the post Manny era has now been played and things continue to look good. J-Bay hit his first HR as a member of the Red Sox , a three run shot that contributed to a 12-2 drubbing of Oakland, and if Dice-K can stay on top of his game, a sweep this afternoon is possible. that would be extremely nice given that this is the first post manny series, the race for the wild card and the division is nip and tuck, and the A's swept the Sox the last time the 2 teams played. Meanwhile, the Twins lost so the Sox now trail the Rays by 3 (still), yet lead the Twins for the Wild card by 1 1/2 and the Yankees by 2 1/2. The Yanks look due for a loss today, with Rasner vs. lackey, so I hope for the quad: a Sox win, while the Yanks, Minn., and the Rays all lose!
Well the Jason Bay era (or the post Manny era, however you prefer to look at it) started nicely for the Red Sox. An agonizing 12 innings with a total of only 3 runs scored (combined) left the Red Sox with a 2-1 victory, and Bay hit a huge triple in the 12th and scored the winning run. He made 2 nice plays in the field, and his stat line read 1-2, 2 runs scored (both of the boston runs, in other words), 2 SO's, 2 walks, and his Red Sox BA. is .333. Now let's hope with Lester and Dice-K going today and tomorrow (respectively) for a sweep and a little momentum.
In other games that mattered yesterday, the Yanks lost (sweet), Tampa Bay won again, and Minnesota won. So the Sox continue to hold the wild card by 1/2 game over Minn., trail the Rays by 3, and the Yanks have now dropped 2/12 behind the Red Sox for the wild card, and they have Mussina on the mound today but Rasner on tomorrow, so definitely pressure today to avoid a possible 4 game sweep.
BTW, I mentioned in my previous post that it had been a rough week for both the Sox and myself. For me it's really just a matter of being sick most of the week, and now even today my ears hurt and my head is full of snot, my throat hurts and when I cough to bring up the gallons of nasty mucus in my lungs and chest that hurts too. Currently on some Zyrtec with Pseudophenrine, some Robitussen, and in the air conditioned attic- definitely want to get over this by Monday and start a productive week.
Well, it's been a bad week for the Red Sox and a bad week for the savvybeast. Since I last checked in on July 27, Manny Ramirez is gone from the Red sox. Manny had quite simply become too much of a pain in the ass to tolerate anymore. I know people will say that this happens every year, but I don't remember it getting this ugly before. I actually began to feel that Manny might end up costing the Red sox games with his foolishness this year, a feeling I never had before. Given that, I feel lucky that the sox were able to replace Manny's spot with Pitt. Pirate LF Jason Bay. Bay is batting .282 with 22 homers and 64 RBI. He is certainly no Manny, and the missing presence Manny leaves is huge. Really, it is not a fillable void. So what the Sox have to do is improve the other parts of their game. The offense needs to find it's earlier balance, with consistent and timely hitting by Lowell, Youk, Pedroia, Ellsbury, and J.D. Drew. Ellsbury especially has been struggling. Big Papi hopefully continues to improve, and maybe Tek can get his avg. up to .250. The pitching has to be more consistently, with Wakefield and Bucholz not getting much done lately, putting a lot of pressure on Beckett, Dice-K, and Lester. Also, there is still not a reliable bridge to Papelbon.
So this team has a lot of issues, but the truth is that so do all of the other teams. The problem is that because the Sox have not pushed forward when they could have not find themselves in a fight with the Yankees, Tampa Bay, Minn., the Chic. White Sox, and even Detroit for 2 available spots. They currently hold the wild card spot by the slimmest of margins, 1/2 game over Minn., and 3 games behind Tampa Bay in the division. The Rays have never been here before, and haven't really had a tough patch yet this year.. yet. The Yankees currently use Sydney Ponson and Darell Rasner as starters. Minn. always seems to hang around but not be enough. Detroit still has so much ground to make up after an awful start to the season you wonder if they have enough in the tank.
As for the Sox, they have now been swept by the Angels twice, lost 2 of 3 to the Yanks, and if weren't for that sweep of the Mariners, this team would be in a freefall. This series at home against Oakland really needs a sweep to get this team moving forward.
Super smart (and oh so humble) I often wonder if heightened intelligence is a blessing or a curse. Recognizing the evil, lies, and corruption that dominate the world, I often retreat into films, comics, sports, and other distractions. Bread and Circuses, baby!! (Don't you just wanna hang out with me now; I must be a barrel of laughs). My blog is where you can read these thoughts, and soon enough you will begin to see, I'm a pretty cool guy. (There's that humility again)