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Open Thread 07/04/05 at TEX

A lot of people will be wishing you a happy and safe Independence Day today. Well, not me. I hope your holiday is happy, sure. But what's so fun about safe? The 4th of July is not about safe. The 4th of July is about pounding a case of beer and blowing stuff up! Being safe doesn't make for good memories. Today, if you're just putzing around your back yard with some family members drinking a soda and playing with a sparkler, then you're not going to remember it next year. But if you and your friends are splitting a bottle of vodka and throwing matches into a box of fireworks you snuck over the border to New Hampshire to get, you'll remember it. More than likely you'll remember it because you lost a finger or two. But you will remember it and you will have stories to tell for the rest of your lives. So go out, don't be safe, eat some grilled meat, drink a beer or six, and blow stuff up.

Last night four Red Sox players were named to the all-star team and all four will be starting. Manny, Ortiz, Damon, and Tek were all voted in by the fans. It's great to see the guys on the team, even if I would rather see them having a long weekend. The only other possible guys that might have made the team were Timlin and Clement and while they were deserving, it's not a travesty that they were left off the team.

The Sox have lost two series in a row and they'll try to turn things around with the help of Wade Miller (2-2, 5.14) who is going up against Ricardo Rodriguez (2-1, 3.65). Miller, as we all know, has so far been a complete bust. His poor command has been hurting him and he hasn't been able to adjust to not having the velocity that he used to have. Rodriguez spent most of the year in AAA going 7-3 with a 2.91 ERA in 80.1 IP. He's not exactly a power pitcher, striking out only 48, but he keeps his walk total down, walking just 23. In his 4 major league starts this year he has struck out only 10 and walked only 3, but has already been touched for 4 home runs in 24.2 IP.