Friday, April 20, 2012

The Sox So Far

Photo: taken by Matt Stone, from, Nov. 17, 2011

Well, it's been a very long time.  And I won't lie: Posts on this blog will be sporadic.  But I have some quick Sox and baseball thoughts, and I was at Fenway twice this past week, for both Rangers games, so here we go...

--I have a sick Fenway losing streak, possibly about 10 or more games, including the last two Rangers games.  The first game I go to after seeing 7 of their last 15 home losses last year was the 18-3 debacle the other day.  Thanks, guys.

--That was my nephew's first Fenway game ever, too.  Bleh!  But we saw a Ted Williams-distance homer from Josh Hamilton land close to us, and an Adrian Gonzalez homer in the bottom of the eighth land very close to us.  This after I told my nephew not to even bother with a glove, because we'll never see a homer come close to us in Section One.  Those were maybe the longest I've seen at Fenway.  And he saw a big, long fight in the bleachers, which is also very rare for Friendly Fenway.

--Ryan Sweeney needs to play more often.  I don't care what the numbers say, even if they say he can't hit lefties.  Play him every day until he shows you that you can't let him do that.

--In the 18-3 game, with two out, and already down by about 12 runs at the time, Jason Repko hit a screamer, low off the left field wall, about 315 feet away--and tried to stretch it into a double.  Thrown out at second by a mile, as you will be when you hit a rocket only 315 feet away that ricochets right into the glove of the outfielder.  As I'm explaining how this is lousy baseball--since a runner on first or on second, down by double digits, doesn't matter, and you can't take a chance on a baserunning out ending the inning--the Sox come up in the next inning and every single one of them swung at the first or second pitch.  The little things win pennants.

--Having said that, I'm with a friend at Fenway for the 6-3 game.  Sox have a runner at third in the second, no score yet, just one out.  I say, "Bad teams don't score this run."  They didn't score that run.

--I like Cody Ross, but I can see why he's played for about five teams in maybe seven years.  But I still like him.

--Jerry Remy is looking good in his blue suits doing the pre-game.  Not Heidi Watney good, but you know...

--Speaking of Heidi Watney, reported in November that her departure was "a mutual decision," pointing out that her contract ran out at the end of last year and the Sox weren't willing to renew.  This is, of course, an outrage, as she was more popular than any of the Sox players the last couple of years.  Nick Green and even Jason Varitek, for God's sake, were said to be dating Heidi Watney, and not the other way around.  Had one of them married her, he would have been Mr. Heidi Watney.  A travesty.

--As I explained to a friend of mine--and he still disagrees--Francona made the right decision to change his mind and attend the 100th birthday thing at Fenway.  My point to my friend--who pointed out in various correct ways how the Boston management hung Francona out to dry, and were lousy to him for a long time even before the losing streak that cost him his job--was that the 100th birthday celebration was for the fans, and the fans only.  And the fans wanted to see him there.  I want to see him there.  He does, in fact, owe it to the fans to be there.  If he wants to not attend Boston management-run ads to promote the thing, that's very understandable, and I wouldn't blame him for not posing with them for pictures afterwards.  But he needs to be there.  I'm glad someone--possibly his agent, asking him, "Do this for potential managing jobs later!"--talked some sense into him.  It's why you go to the wake of a parent of an ex a year after a messy breakup.  Because it's expected of you, and correctly so.

--This team being the 100th anniversary team is the same as getting severe heartburn from the champagne you drank just a little bit of at New Years.  Your stomach hurts both times, and they both leave a nasty taste in your mouth.

--The most telling comment from that whole Bobby Valentine/Youkilis mess was Pedroia's.

--And Valentine was wrong: Youk always plays 100%.  He literally doesn't know any other way.  But his follow-up comment was dead-on: Youk's swing is different, and something is very wrong.  Still fields a golden glove, though.

--Pedroia also plays 100% all the time--and there's nothing wrong with his bat this year, either.

--I don't miss Papelbon, even after Bailey went down and they still don't really have a closer.

--Their relief pitching, however, is fine, especially with Melancon gone.  Becket made it look easy against the Rangers, too.  Really he just made that one bad pitch to Napoli.

--Lester is worrying me, as his lack of quality starts goes back to last September.

--Fenway looks beautiful, even more so than Heidi did.  Yeah, I just said that.

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