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   1. Rough Carrigan Posted: July 03, 2007 at 03:21 AM (#2427362)
The glass half full view still has some merit here. Papi and Manny are likely to do more in the second half. IMO, Matsuzaka will as he seems to have made some adjustments to things. I guess I think Drew will be more productive as well.
   2. villageidiom Posted: July 03, 2007 at 04:16 AM (#2427440)
And as pointed out during the telecast, 22% of their remaining games are against Tampa Bay. It's 32% against Tampa Bay and Chicago.
   3. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: July 03, 2007 at 04:25 AM (#2427458)
I'm pretty happy so far.

I really want to see the team play well now in the next week leading to the All Star Break.

I also want to see Papi pull out of the ASG. The game is a wank and he needs to conserve some energy.

Drew is looking more and more comfortable at the plate as well which is good. If he could regain some power in line with his norm then we should hopefully win another 50 games.
   4. Chip Posted: July 03, 2007 at 04:30 AM (#2427464)
Plus 3 still left with KC.

And 11 with Baltimore, who are only 1 game better than Chicago right now.
   5. jimmybob Posted: July 03, 2007 at 05:00 AM (#2427482)
On the other hand the Yankee's still have 15 left again TB, 10 against KC, and a bunch against the O's. The Sox are in good shape nonetheless.
   6. Chip Posted: July 03, 2007 at 05:31 AM (#2427494)
Including New York and Toronto, the Sox have 55 left against teams currently under .500, the Yankees 51. Toronto has 42.

Scanning through other playoff contenders and wannabe contenders (no guarantees on accuracy, so I invite corrections): the Indians have 40 against losing teams. Twins 39. Tigers 39. Mariners 38. A's 34. Angels 32.

Of course, the teams in the tougher divisions are going to have tougher schedules, because they all play each other. The problem for the AL East teams trailing them in the Wild Card chase remains the obvious one: in those games, gaining ground on one will mean losing ground on the other. If you're the trailing team, simply matching wins isn't good enough, because the calendar's your foe as much as those other teams are.
   7. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: July 03, 2007 at 10:21 AM (#2427524)
Positives despite the recent wave of suck:

1) The Love for Manny D and the Love that Manny D has returned. Manny D is throwing (enough) strikes with the 95mph fastball for him to be effective. Good for him.
2) Julian Tavarez in June pitched like a legit 3rd starter. Not sure if this is just the calm of a storm of suck, or just some sort "faith paying off" thing. For once, I choose to remain faithful. He may be batshit insane, but if Manny AND Matsuzaka both like him, AND he punched a Devil Ray, can he be taht bad of a guy?
3) Dice-K and Beckett were damn solid in June.
4) Wake sacked up
5) Veronica is walking and his OBP is up to .367.
The above 5 points had a lot to do with "LOL NATIONAL LEAGUE", but they're still positives.

Things we need to do to fix recent wave of suck/prevent further waves of suck:

1) Get Okajima some damn help. If Francona had a number two go to guy, then we wouldn't have "3 nights in a row Okajima" or "3 nights out of 4 Okajima".
2) Continue the kid glove treatment of Papelbon. He's back to badass Papelbon again, although in limited bursts.
3) Again, please do something about the corpse of Mike Timlin. It's getting sad for soembody we all used to love.
4) I've never been to Craigslist, I hear you can find stuff on them for cheap, can anybody go and find a replacement level hitting knuckleball catcher? Thanks
5) I'd like Mike Lowell to have two thumbs again. This will require a 15 day DL stint and missing the all-star game.
6) I'd like the David Ortiz we build statues for. This will also require a 15 day DL stin and missing the all-star game.
7) Tight leash on Crisp: Will he suck for ANOTHER 14 months due to hand injury?
8) Oh, I don't give a frak about Lugo anymore.

The game is a wank and he needs to conserve some energy.


I've been saying this for years: Despite what Bud says, no, this time doesn't matter, and it never really mattered. The Blaylock "LOL GAGNE" home run was kind of fun, but seriously, doesn't matter.
   8. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: July 03, 2007 at 12:37 PM (#2427554)
No props for Ellsbury, Wok?


Dude, he's been here for one series. His swing still needs a few kinks worked out, but I think we can send him back down after the ASB with a Gold Star and Huge Pat on the Back. His defense looked competent and he can run the bases properly. He'll be back up sooner or later.
   9. Artie Ziff Posted: July 03, 2007 at 04:37 PM (#2427683)
I really hope Boston can hold this lead and make the postseason. But there's always that feeling of New York storming back and stealing it from them. I expect Tavarez and Beckett to eventually wear out making for a short playoff run unfortunately.
   10. baudib Posted: July 03, 2007 at 04:54 PM (#2427693)
The Yankees have a better shot at winning the division than winning the wildcard.
   11. Famous Original Joe C Posted: July 03, 2007 at 05:22 PM (#2427730)
I expect Tavarez and Beckett to eventually wear out making for a short playoff run unfortunately.

You could be right about Beckett, but if Tavarez is starting postseason games, it's because someone got hurt.
   12. Dave Cyprian Posted: July 06, 2007 at 05:07 PM (#2431103)
From Rotoworld:

The Red Sox announced that they'll go with a rotation of Tim Wakefield, Julian Tavarez, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Josh Beckett and Kason Gabbard following the break.


Really? More Gabbard? They really must be trying to trade him, he can't be considered the best option to make all these spot starts can he?
   13. chris p Posted: July 06, 2007 at 05:25 PM (#2431133)
Really? More Gabbard? They really must be trying to trade him, he can't be considered the best option to make all these spot starts can he?

he's shown more than hansack has, lester is not ready (i don't think he'll contribute this year at all and i think he gets shut down for the season relatively early), and they are trying to limit buchholz' innings.
   14. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: July 07, 2007 at 07:47 AM (#2431951)
I expect Tavarez and Beckett to eventually wear out making for a short playoff run unfortunately.

Tavarez/Beckett getting worn out? What about Matsuzaka and his 120 pitch outings? He pitches a lot in Japan (Hell, his pitch counts are really high), he's pitched deep into the playoffs, but the NPB Post season is not as long as the MLB Post season.
   15. NTNgod Posted: July 07, 2007 at 07:57 AM (#2431953)
he's pitched deep into the playoffs, but the NPB Post season is not as long as the MLB Post season.

The regular season is 20 games shorter over there, as well.
   16. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: July 07, 2007 at 08:38 AM (#2431955)
The regular season is 20 games shorter over there, as well.

He does pitch in stuff like Intl. Tourneys, Olympic Qualifiers, and that MLB/NPB tour games as well though, so he's not just "shut down".
   17. Darren Posted: July 07, 2007 at 03:06 PM (#2432031)
Hasn't he topped out at around 200 IP in the regular season, pitching ~1 time a week? I agree that his workload is a concern. They seem to think that he's good to go for 220+ IP and the postseason. I hope that if they can keep a healthy lead, they'll be able to cut back on his workload. If Francona can also find another reliever he can trust (Delcarmen?), that would help too.
   18. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: July 07, 2007 at 03:28 PM (#2432043)
If Francona can also find another reliever he can trust (Delcarmen?), that would help too.


The concensus (which i sort of help conspire towards) amongst us Yellow Asian Red Sox fans is that Theo needs to go and get a guy that can take the workload of Okajima, because a lot of these folks have seen Okajima in Japan, and he is not used to this kind of workload. He hasn't crakced 50 IP in Japan in a LONG time, and usually LOOGYs a lot. Yes, there is a lot of Manny D love, Yes, we all agree Brendan Donnelly has done a job, we all want Timlin to retire and Piniero dead in a fire, but we'd still like another guy. CoughOtsukaCough.

A coughOtsukacough kind of guy would make Manny D the #4 guy in the pen, a role he has proven this year and last that he's capable of fulfilling competently. Donnelly has been used as a ROOGY sometimes this year, and it has been effective (his career split against righties is like 80 points lower in OPS or something). Lopez is nothing special for a LOOGY, but you can't be strong everywhere. Snyder as the long man we also have no complains about either.
   19. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: July 07, 2007 at 03:29 PM (#2432044)
Veronica is walking and his OBP is up to .367.

I have no idea to whom this referrs. The nickname doesn't lead me to identify the player in any way.
   20. Darren Posted: July 07, 2007 at 03:38 PM (#2432052)
It's his name for JD Drew. I'm not going to encourage him by explaining it.

Good point about Okajima's workload. I don't think we can say for sure that he can't handle 80+ IP, but we just don't know, so having solid other plans is the way to go. I'd say that between now and the deadline Manny D, Timlin, and Donnelly all get a chance to show that they can be part of the setup group. If they can't, the Sox deal for Otsuka, Dotel, or someone like that.

On Lopez, we know what we have in him somewhat--an alright sort of Loogy. I say we demote him and see what we have in Breslow. Whoever's better gets the job.
   21. PJ Martinez Posted: July 07, 2007 at 04:08 PM (#2432077)
Drew has so far followed up his 962 June OPS with a 967 July OPS. His OPS+ is up to 104 with a 374 OBP.

Obviously, one expects more from a 15 million dollar right fielder, but he's been hitting for about six weeks now-- maybe he'll keep it up.
   22. Darren Posted: July 07, 2007 at 04:18 PM (#2432085)
Yes, keep it up and turn around that apparently awful defense. And hit some HRs!
   23. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: July 07, 2007 at 04:56 PM (#2432099)
I'd say that between now and the deadline Manny D, Timlin, and Donnelly all get a chance to show that they can be part of the setup group. If they can't, the Sox deal for Otsuka, Dotel, or someone like that.


Manny D is here to stay. He's finding the strike zone with both the fastball and the offspeed pitch, and his stuff is decent enough to get a few outs. Donnelly is a veteran guy who "knows how to pitch/cheat"

Please retire Timlin.

On Lopez, we know what we have in him somewhat--an alright sort of Loogy. I say we demote him and see what we have in Breslow. Whoever's better gets the job.

I'd outright give Breslow Timlin's mopup job right now.

Wok, don't ever call me "dude" again. Ever.


Sure thing cracka, keepin' it real!
   24. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 07, 2007 at 06:50 PM (#2432137)
Clay Buchholz threw in relief for just about the first time in his life this week. He's slated to throw an inning in the Futures Game, and possibly to have a few more opportunities out of the bullpen after the All-Star break. I think the Red Sox see Buchholz as their first choice for an addition to the bullpen. They have it set up so that they'll get a good chance to observe him in relief for 2-3 weeks before any decisions need to be made about trades.

Manny D has already taken an inning for Okajima - on Wednesday - and he did a good job.

It's interesting to watch the Red Sox' use of Okajima and Matsuzaka. It's too early to draw generalizations too confidently, but I think the simplest explanation of their usage is that the Red Sox believe that the Japanese training regimen produces more durable pitchers. Okajima may not have thrown >50 IP, but he threw way more pitches in a season, counting side sessions, than most Americans.
   25. Chip Posted: July 07, 2007 at 08:13 PM (#2432188)
I think Benjamin in the Globe reported that Buchholz only pitched in relief this week because of the Futures Game schedule, and that it was not any indication of future usage plans for him post ASG.
   26. Chip Posted: July 07, 2007 at 08:22 PM (#2432197)
It was Edes, in his Notes column yesterday:

Some eyebrows were raised at the news that Clay Buchholz, the Sox' top pitching prospect in Portland, was used out of the bullpen Wednesday, going 1 1/3 innings against New Britain. The official reason given is that Buchholz is likely to pitch an inning or so of relief in the All-Star Futures Game, and the Sox did not want that to be his first relief experience. The Sox also have a limit on how many innings a Double A pitcher throws -- around 165 -- and Buchholz has pitched 86 2/3, so a bullpen appearance might help on that count as well. It's also a possibility, more than a probability, that Buchholz could get a big league summons this summer if the bullpen needs help, much like Jonathan Papelbon made the jump in 2005, which he began as a starter in Portland. But at this stage, that would appear to be a long shot for Buchholz, who has been dazzling (7-2, 1.77 ERA, 116 K's, 22 BBs) for the Sea Dogs. "There is no hidden agenda," Francona said . .
   27. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: July 07, 2007 at 10:43 PM (#2432253)
Wok, don't ever call me "dude" again. Ever.

Lighten up, Francis.
   28. Darren Posted: July 08, 2007 at 03:47 AM (#2433310)
Well, that's typical Edes. He concludes that "that would appear to be longshot" but we really have no idea what he based that on. What is the "no hidden agenda" quote in response to? Did Francona say earlier in the conversation, "he is only being used in relief to prepare him for the futures game?" If so, why didn't he indicate that that info came from Francona? And why would you rely on Francona for this info?

Here's what Theo said in an interview with MaineToday:

"He's going to throw an inning of relief in the Futures Game so what we're going to do is give him an inning of relief four days from now, on the Fourth.

"Instead of just interrupting his starting routine, we're going to turn this into a developmental experience for him. We're going to let him see what it's like to pitch out of the pen.

"We look at him as a starting pitcher but you never know. A lot of great starting pitchers at some point in their career pitch in the pen. This will give him a feel for what it's like. It will also give him a little breather in the middle of the year.


Gee, that's a lot less definitive. Far be it from Edes to bother mentioning those comments in his article or pursuing the question further. Nope, easier to just conclude "that would appear to be a long shot," without making at all clear whether it's your opinion or something that you've been told.
   29. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: July 08, 2007 at 09:39 PM (#2434014)
The All-star break is FINALLY here. This last wave of suck has really made it unbearable.
   30. Darren Posted: July 08, 2007 at 10:31 PM (#2434063)
Yeah, it's been a frustrating series, that's for sure.
   31. Dr. Vaux Posted: July 08, 2007 at 10:35 PM (#2434072)
Not for me! But I can go back to cheering for both teams now.
   32. Darren Posted: July 08, 2007 at 10:39 PM (#2434074)
Vaux's like the guy in the interjection video from School House Rock. We're all standing around thinking we're on the same side, yelling "aw" and "rats." Then he pipes up with "Hooray, I'm for the other team!" Then, of course, we all kill him.
   33. Answer Guy Posted: July 09, 2007 at 12:07 AM (#2434146)
Are people in Boston still hearing Buerhle rumors? I mean, it's obviously not worth it if Schilling is due back soon, but I don't feel so great about running Tavarez and Gabbard running out there two out of every five days for the rest of the season.
   34. JB H Posted: July 09, 2007 at 12:13 AM (#2434150)
Buerhle resigned with Chicago.

I hope Buchholz makes his way to the Boston bullpen by the end of the season, which is what I sense is the plan. Papelbon/Okajima/Delcarmen/Buchholz/whoever is a great playoff pen
   35. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: July 09, 2007 at 12:52 AM (#2434192)
I really wished Manny, Papi and Youkilis were not going to the All Star Game. They need a break and would be better off if they stayed at home and played with themselves.
   36. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: July 09, 2007 at 01:00 AM (#2434197)
I really wished Manny, Papi and Youkilis were not going to the All Star Game. They need a break and would be better off if they stayed at home and played with themselves.

YOukilis isn't. You meant Lowell.

If I were Theo, I'd decree that NOBODY gets to go to the all-star game, like how Steinbrenner went "NO PITCHERS AT THE WBC" and that kind of krap.
   37. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: July 09, 2007 at 01:11 AM (#2434208)
YOukilis isn't. You meant Lowell.


I did, I thought Youks was in for some reason and forgot about Lowell. As long as he bats with the bases empty he'll go 3 for 3 for sure
   38. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: July 09, 2007 at 01:22 AM (#2434218)
I need to qualify my previous statement by noting that the ASG really really doesn't matter while the WBC is an awesome event which provides actual serious awesome baseball while promoting the MLB globally and really showcases the International Nature of teh MLB.
   39. Darren Posted: July 09, 2007 at 02:53 AM (#2434322)
How about anyone who needed a day off in the Tigers series doesn't need to go to the All-Star game?
   40. tfbg9 Posted: July 10, 2007 at 06:48 PM (#2435899)
I believe that for 6 seasons is a row, or something like that, the Sox have lost the last game before the ASB.

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