Today the nation rejoices; Sox win, Yanks lose (on a walk off single, no less), and Jon Lester pitches a gem, finally. I last checked in on May 25 and I pointed out the brutal stretch of games coming up for the Red Sox. 19 games in all, and my hope was for them to still maintain at least the wild card before embarking on a 25 game soft stretch.
They split two on the road with Minnesota, and they were facing a sweep today on the road to Toronto. Then the real Jon Lester showed up, notching the following: 6 innings, 1 earned run, and 12 Ks. Sox win 8-2 and salvage something from the trip. Up next is 3 with Detroit on the road, and 7 games into this trip they are 3-4. They haven't won a series since the earlier sweep of Toronto and could really use 2 of 3 from the Tigers before heading home for series with the Rangers and the Evil Empire. The Empire, despite todays loss, are on fire, winning 16 of 22, so the race is on!!
On the down side, big Crappi continues to be awful, going 1 for 5 and is now hitting .185. I love what he's meant to the franchise, but enough is enough! Sit him down, indefinitely, and start looking for a bat and a SS. Get on it Theo, cause the Empire isn't going anywhere.
Relax, Red Sox Nation - despite a pitching ERA that is 19th in baseball, a continued need for a legitimate, quality shortstop, an injured primary starter, and Red Sox hero Big Papi now batting below the Mendoza line, despite the evil empire obliterating our salary potential and getting yet another prized free agent.... as i sit here looking at the standings on Memorial Day, the Red Sox sit atop the A.L. East - a quarter of the way through the season, without a pitch thrown yet by John Smoltz, and with Jonathen Papelbons blown save (!) - the Sox still are sitting playoff bound.
The second quarter starts off brutally, with a 10 game road trip (4 against Minn, a team that is 17-9 at home, while the Sox are 9-12 away from Fenway. That series is followed by 3 with Det, the current AL Central leaders, then 3 with Toronto, who trail the Sox by 1/2 game. ) This leads to a return home, and a match up with Texas, the best team inthe American league. After that the yankees come to town for 3, followed by a trip to Phil. , the NL east leaders, for 3 in their ballpark. This 19 game stretch is rough, although we will look later at the 25 game stretch after that, in which the best team they will play will be the Atlanta Braves. If they can get through these 19 games with a share of at least the wild card slot, things will be looking very sweet indeed.
I generally root for the Mets, mostly due to my need to have a local rooting interest, and because they are the other NY team, the one that is not the evil empire. Anyway, last night was a game i figured would go to the Mets, with the pitching matchup pitting the best pitcher in the NL (Johan Santana) vs. dice-K's first game back after a lenghty Dl stint. Game played out about as expected, although I saw enough of Dice-K to be encouraged. Really, the story of the game was Johan's childish outburst towards kevin Youkoulis. Johan hits him (no biggie, no intent, not angry at this point). Now I imagine getting hit with a baseball at around 90 miles an hour hurts, and hitting your elbow and or hand probably hurts a lot!! So Youkoulis had the AUDACITY to look at Johan (pretty natural, when someone hurts you, even by mistake, it's slightly annoying) - Youk , walking to first, smiling, and rubbing the injured area, led Johan to get whiny. his quote "he's looking at me, I don't appreciate that." What is this, two boys on a schoolyard. Is it a prison? Johan was a little bitch, and maybe he was trying to fire himself up, but the reality is simple. He was a punk, a whiner, and I lost quite a bit of respect for him. Let's hope he blows out his arm, fucking douchebag!!
O.K. it's been a week since I checked in. Let's see how the week has been for the Red Sox (hint, not so great!
The Sox were off on the 11th of May and coming off of a much needed series win against the Tampa Bay Rays. Beckett pitched well, and the team had the aforementioned off-day to look forward to before starting a west coast road trip. There were some concerns, including an injury to Youk that put him on the DL and an injury to Pedroia. Dice-K was still not ready to pitch and Big Papi was still struggling... and it would only get worse.
The team lost 2 out of 3 to the Angels, and david oritz hit (bad pun alert) a new low - in a game vs. the Angles, he went 0-7 and left 12 runners stranded! 12!! The team has since sat Papi down,with the hope that returning home and clearing his head will allow him to possible scrape out of this.- the jury is still way out on this one, and the team needs to consider the possibility that he will not return, and that they may have to move to plan B - ie. bring in another power bat, and if they can't find someone to replace him, they can at least strengthen the line-up. If Papi doesn't him, he is effectively worthless. I love the guy, but at DH he isn't like Varitek, who can justify a low BA. as long as he continue to play a good role behind the plate.
The team then went on to lost 2/3 to the Mariners. They are off today, and tomorrow start 6 straight games against division leaders, the Toronto Blue Jays and the NY Mets, respectively.
I like to check in periodicaly with the teams record, and project outwards over the 162 season. I checked in at the 16 game pt (1/10 of the way through), the 32 game pt, and then at 40, the quarter pt. At 16 games they were 10-6, projecting towards 100 wins. I certainly don't expect that to hold up. At 32 games they were 20-12. I like the consistency there, and the projection remains, although I still don't expect it. They are now 22-16 now, so depending on the next 2 games allowing them to hit 40 played, they could be projecting out from 88 to 96 wins. 88 won't make the playoffs, but I think 96 would win the division . 92 would be very, very tight. So we shall see.
Meanwhile the Yanks are starting to play very well, and with 3 straight walk off wins at home they are red hot! I suspect the next series between the 2 will start to take on more significance, and would love to see the sox dominance continue, but once again don't expect that to happen.
"I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated Governments in the civilized world no longer a Government by free opinion, no longer a Government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a Government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men."
Woodrow Wilson, upon signing the Federal Reserve into existence.
"Meet the new boss, same as the old boss" - The Who, 'Won't Get Fooled Again'
Too tired to go off on a lengthy rant here, but I beg all people to do their best to educate themselves on the economy. If anyone believes that what is being done now is going to fix the problems (very, very severe problems) this country is having right now economically, you haven't done enough research. I'm not suggesting that Obama is nearly as bad as Bush, what I am suggesting is that in the big picture, it's nearly irrelevant who is president when it comes to the Federal Reserve. From the moment Woodrow Wilson signed the Federal Reserve Act in the last days of 1913, this country has effectively been run by one force; HUGE MONEY. Far beyond what you or i can even imagine, the cycle of booms and busts consistently has one winner, HUGE MONEY. Dem or Rep. doesn't really matter either, their political representatives are simply playing their part in an epic show, and the best they can hope for is a starring role, perhaps as a senator, or a president, or a lobbyist, or a talking head
So as you try to wrap your head around the dizzying array of numbers you see in the paper and on TV, remember that this game is rigged. Small example that many of you should be familiar with. Notice how the banks who received the enormous amounts of bailout money, (your taxpayer money!) That was pretty nice of us, Mr. and Mrs. Taxpayer, so the banks must be pretty appreciative, right? So why are they arguing about their right to continue paying huge bonuses to the very same "economic elites", the analysts that took your pension fund and flushed it down the crapper, took your 401K and started buying up derivatives, while you can't make your mortgage payment? Why are they angry that their credit card policies of egregious fees and arbitrary rate fee increases are actually being questioned? Because these "people", (using the term loosely, since those at the top of these institutions are less than human, since I always believed a human has some form of soul) don't give a crap about you,me, or anyone but themselves, for that matter. As corporate thinkers, they are effectively sociopaths, and we are their victims.
I have lots of stuff to mention tonight, but the game is starting (hopefully) soon, so here is a quick hit, and I will try to add more a bit later when I sit down in front of the TV. I wanted to throw this out there now - I have a feeling that we may see some heat in tonights Red Sox game vs. the Evil Empire. The Empire is showing cracks all over, not the least is Joey G. from the bronx barking at first base coach Tim bogar last night in the 4th inning; apparently Joey thinks the Sox are stealing signs! Here's a sign - your 200 million dollar team just isn't good enough! However, with the Yanks dealing with the following right now (this is almost too sweet for those of use who see the Evil Empire for what it is; a bloated, greedy, arrogant bunch of whiny pricks who have outspent everyone for a decade and haven't won shit since 2000.
1. Jorge Posada (aka Dumbo, aka Douchebag) hurt his 37 yr. old hamstring last night and is hitting the DL for 2-3 wks. Listening to Joey G. on the way home he did not sound like a guy who expects Pissada back that soon. I try really hard not to celebrate injuries, but man, I hate this guy; always have, always will. Basically, he's a dick.
2. Joba Chamberlains mom arrested for methamphetamine sale, and here's the kicker: she needed a public defender because she can't afford anything else. Hey, way to take care of family of there, Joba, really classy. I figured Joba would like to take his anger out out and try to kill Youk again, but Youk is out due to a balky back, so perhaps someone else will be the target.
3. A-Hole - really, what is left to say about this guy. hell, even I feel like it's almost too much... but then I remember what a dick he is and say pile on, baby!
4. Whang - still trying to figure out what's wrong, he's probably close to a month away from returning.
5. The worst ERA in the A.L. - with a 200 million dollar payroll. = nice job, CashMoney!
6. 4 Straight losses to the Red Sox, who have been dealing with a variety of their own problems yet still find a way. Oh, and they do it with nearly half the payroll!!
All this leads to a feeling that Joba and Beckett might get in a beanball war, with my pick as the targeted Sox player being Jacoby Ellsbury, for that brilliant straight steal of home on Clueless hgh fan Andy "i'm a christian, and I repented, so all's well" Pettite. F' him.
OK, a bit longer than planned, but there is so much more, including Obama finally showing some stones and telling Corp. America to pay at least a bit of their fair share of taxes, what with the country in dire financial straits. Best yet are the Republicans, and places like the national Chamber of Commerce screaming bloody murder for daring to ask them to put some of their excessive profits back into the country that has allowed them such success. Wow, I though Republicans were uberpatriots, doesn't helping the U.S. by simply pumping money back into the system show patriotism, not to mention long term thinking?
Red Sox Update - no one out, Sox up 4-0, Joba gives up a 3 run homer to Jbay.
So it looks like the yanks willbe rained out today, so advantage them for a day of rest prior to the next series with the boys from Boston. Furthermore, the Sox are starting Brad Penny today, who carries the odd combo of a 2-0 record with an ERA over 8!! Yikes - that could mean major bullpen usage, weakening the team for tomorrow, but after that 4-0 sweep last week, the Yanks need all the help they can get.
So now what we have with both teams is the following:
The Sox have a team ERA of 4.66, 7th in the American league... not what was expected coming into the season. In addition, one of the big 3 remains on the DL (Dice K)
The Yanks, on the other hand, have an ERA of 5.93, worst in the A L. Certainly not what the evil empire anticipated, with Job, CC, and Burnett. They also have a problem with a foreign pitcher, and no ones able to exactly what is wrong with Wang.
Papi isn't hitting for crap, Tex isn.'t hitting for crap. Both teams are still fightig at thee top of the division, and who really believes Toronto is going to sustain? Exactly. Now problems in april are slow starts, just getting going, etc, but problems that remain through may into June are PROBLEMS that require addressing before deep into July. So stay tuned..
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)