Today - Madden 10. Tomorrow? WOODSTOCK 40th ANNIVERSARY!!!
Oh, right, baseball. Umm... Alright, today we start the crucial series against the Texas Rangers that will knock us out of the lead for the wildcard if we don't win it. If it's that important, we'd better study up on the opponent. So, let's see what the rest of the Internet is saying about the Sox - Rangers series.
An interesting note, among many others, from the fine folks who broadcast all these games for the Red Sox:
Entering Thursday’s game, Sox relievers led the AL with a 3.47 ERA (130 earned runs, 337 1/3 innings). The ‘pen had allowed multiple runs in eight of their last 10 games, with a 5.92 ERA (25 earned runs, 38 innings) in that stretch. It had surrendered homers in seven of the last nine games (10 total) after no homers in its previous 15 outings since the All-Star break.
Some more interesting stuff, but not anything particularly of note.
More links and stories after the jump.Lots of players slumping and streaking right now... and a fan who was caught doing the latter
Ortiz, who famously battled a career-worst slump for the first two months of the season before breaking out in June and July, was 0-for-4 in yesterday’s 2-0 loss to the Tigers with three strikeouts, dropping him to 4-for-41 in the last week and a half.
This is some great stuff to get you out of the dumps.
There are two great axioms in baseball. One is, "When Julian Tavarez asks you if you'd like to see his pet snake Armando, never answer in the affirmative." The other and perhaps more famous one is, "Good pitching beats good hitting." Yesterday, Justin Verlander (AKA, pretty freakin' awesome pitching) took on a Red Sox line-up sans Youkbacca and Dustin Pedroia (mediocre, streaky hitting). So you could pretty much see where this one was going before a single pitch was thrown.
Smoltz's immediate future is still in the Sox hands, as they still must choose to release or trade him. According to Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal, the Sox will be required to pay the remainder of his $5.5 million contract if he is released. If traded, the Sox will owe Smoltz a $500,000 bonus.
Smoltz DFA'd - THT Live
Old article, but it still has some important stuff:
Of course, Smoltz's ERA is 8.33; however, the Red Sox are supposedly one of the more sabermetric friendly organizations out there. Anyway, Smoltz is now free to all teams and could be a good pickup for a contending team with a hole in the starting rotation or bullpen (hint, hint... Cardinals).
The folks at Fire Brand agree with most of us that Buch's looking good in recent starts:
Despite consistently having to come out of the game due to his erratic fastball control and always on the precipice of complete and utter disaster, Buchholz has actually shown poise on the mound, minimizing the risks that he finds himself in. All too often, we would witness one small hit or walk snowball into a conflagration that resulted in Buchholz walking off the mound, head down in shame.
At 24, Buchholz has certainly been part of some major growing pains after finding the majors to his liking in 2007. At 24, he's still young. At 24, Buchholz finally looks like he's starting to figure things out.
An interesting comparison here - is Buch the next Derek Lowe?
With Buchholz's ups and downs, it has always been more than pure numbers. He is, in a sense, a more recent version of Derek Lowe. For all of his ability, Lowe did not handle adversity well. A bad play behind him, a missed call by an umpire, a bloop RBI single with two outs — they would all send Lowe stomping around behind the mound, pained look on his face, a woe-is-me demeanor.
Not only are other blogs and news sources feeling good about Buch, even Tito likes what he sees:
By his own manager’s account, Buchholz made exactly one mistake yesterday when he grooved a fastball to Ryan Raburn, who belted it out to left in the seventh inning. The only other run was unearned, the result of an error by rookie right fielder Josh Reddick in the fourth.
Maybe Theo doesn't hate Bowden:
Michael Bowden, who pitched well Tuesday for Triple-A Pawtucket, is a good first bet [to get Tazawa's starts, should he falter]. He threw 5 1/3 shutout innings against Charlotte, striking out four and allowing three hits and three walks, a nice rebound from his previous start. Against Norfolk Aug. 5, he got lit up for six runs and six hits in three innings, a start that did not help his cause to get called up instead of Tazawa.
Because, even when streaking, you have to make sure everyone knows where your loyalties lie:
MONSON - Monson police arrested a man for open and gross lewdness and disorderly conduct after he was found walking nude, except for sneakers and a Red Sox baseball cap, and holding a beer in the area of Silver Street early Saturday morning.
Now for some stories to broaden your horizons
More minor league stuff, to complement USG's Minor Lines.
Before Nava begins telling the near-impossible story of how he came to play for Double A Portland, he has a question. "How far back we going here?’’ he asks.
He has been passed over as a baseball player so many times in his life, he needs direction to pinpoint the best place to start.
In case you weren't ready to shove your computer out a window to avoid reading more about the debacle on Tuesday, here's a good summary of the Internet's opinion:
But what happened between the Boston Red Sox and the Detroit Tigers, and between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants shows how far out of touch we have gotten with the game, the difference between being hit intentionally and unintentionally, the difference between hitting someone with intent to injure or intent to retaliate, and how throwing inside (not hitting batters) is part of the game.
On a related note...
Eighty-nine years later, a handful of people are trying to get him recognized for what was one of the best careers of his era, long overshadowed by baseball’s only lethal pitch. Their goal is to have Mays enshrined in the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame.
A lot of you have the privilege of watching NESN for Sox games, and the absence of Remy has been as a big a storyline as the season itself. With his recent return to the booth, albeit a short one, we learned that he isn't just dealing with cancer anymore - he's now suffering from depression, which apparently isn't all that uncommon for a cancer survivor:
To an outsider, such despair in a cancer survivor would seem surprising: Surely the patient must be triumphal, having won a victory over a potentially lethal disease. But that is not what Fasciano witnesses in her office at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Most of us know someone who's had cancer, and this article is an eye-opener into the world of pain that they feel.
We could be losing an important part of our Front Office very soon:
Red Sox assistant general manager Jed Hoyer is a finalist for the Washington Nationals general manager’s job, according to an industry source. The other finalists are Washington’s interim GM, Mike Rizzo, as well as former Red Sox scout Jerry DiPoto, who is currently the director of scouting and player personnel for the Diamondbacks.
That's all I've got for now. If you find anything while surfing the web, throw it into the comments section.
P.S. - Pitch F/X School
Try to figure out which pitches are which - this is Justin's Verlander's start from yesterday, showing the average path of each of his four pitches from a bird's eye view. I'll post the link to the answer at during the GT - NO CHEATING.