The Whole Team Here

Songs of the Post: Started from the Bottom by Drake || We Are the Champions by Queen || Tessie by Dropkick Murphys

Your Boston Red Sox are 2013 World Series Champions! The Red Sox defeated the Cardinals 6-1 on the jowls of John Lackey, the broken back of Shane Victorino, the MVP caliber walks of Papi and the [breaking] balls of Koji Uehara. Boston_Red_Sox_celebrates_World_Series_championship_20131031013016_320_240

It had been 95 years since the Red Sox had clinched the World Series at home. 1918 was the last time. That year sounds familiar, huh? Well it’s finally laid to rest. Babe Ruth has rolled over in his grave and now his bones have turned to dust. That number can no longer haunt us, that number is now just that, a number.

It feels like a weight has been lifted and we can finally breath easier. Now this weight is not as heavy, not a fraction as heavy as the one from 9 years ago. This weight carried different burdens; the bloated contracts, the slobs we called pitchers, the crazy manager, the “sexy” team, and being the laughing stock of the league. Now we shed those names and became the heroes, the beardos, the 2013 World Series Champions.

I can’t say much more that hasn’t been said already and I want to let it sink in for all of us, however; since Scott Boras has moved onto free agency; I might as well too.

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I have half a mind of a GM and half a mind of a fan; perhaps that’s mostly just being a diehard. Show me a definition and I’ll stop thinking I can be in the front office. Part of me jumping ahead is because I won’t be around to experience the winter meetings and spring training (more on that in another post).

Jacoby Ellsbury, Stephen Drew, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Mike Napoli and Joel Hanrahan frontline the free agent grouping.

Els and Drew are both Scott Boras clients and he has already started the tampering. According to Boras, Ellsbury needs an MRI on his right hand and eleven teams have already called about him. Eleven teams! Also his other champion client Stephen Drew, after an historically poor postseason was fitted for contacts between games five and six. No complaints there actually; he hit a homerun due to the contacts. I believe, unless Farrell needs his binky in Stephen Drew, that both will be gone onto… greener walls… cough.. cough Chicago Cubs.

Good riddance too! At times, most of the times, Stephen Drew was unbearable to watch, and at others you thanked the living gods that he was at short. However, like his brother we won’t really miss him. We have a 21 year old hotshot coming in. And as for Jacoby, he has, until this year been too ‘Hollywood’ for Boston. Many teams will have increased money and Ellsbury should be wooed elsewhere.

Their replacements will be Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr. I’m going to be the first to say it; these guys are the biggest, most dweeby, awkward baseball players I have ever seen. Their talent makes up for it though. Xander, fluent in four languages looked dumbfounded and like he’d rather be in an online chatroom when being interviewed; and at times when he was in the batter’s box. And I follow Jackie Bradley Jr. on twitter and some of the things he posts are just plain weird; and this picture: jbj

Like I said, their talent makes up for their current awkwardness.

In my opinion we can move on from Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Mike Napoli. Salty has overstayed his welcome by more than I ever wanted him to. Not to mention that he just kind of appeared on this team. I know he was traded but he’s just bleh. I can deal with Ross and Lavarnway until some of our catchers in the system can develop. Napoli was good while he was here but he was injured and he had that bigger hip issue early on. If they keep it to another year deal that’d be fine; but we can transition Lavarnway and Middlebrooks into firstbasemen as the farm seems to be teething with 3B and catchers.

I’d like to see Hanrahan back simply because Koji is 37 and that was magical and unheard of this season. We can’t expect near perfection for 5 months from him. He and Bailey looked good while they were back and forth between closer and setup. With Tazawa and Breslow and others in the ‘pen we’ll be looking good. I’d hope that Workman stays with the bullpen.

I think Lester should have his option picked up and we should work on and extension in the season. He earned it. Lackey should get another year or two added onto this contract he still owes us. Dubront should be the third starter and hope that he brings his stuff. Peavy and Dempster should split the fourth starter and one could be used as trade bait when the time comes. The fifth starter should be one of the kids in the farms; whether its De La Rosa or Webster; I think they can be brought up and taken under the wings of the older guys.

I didn’t forget about Buchholz:  indiana_jones_and_the_last_crusade

He can be traded at anytime in my opinion. We just went through Beckett checking out for half a year, but Beckett actually went out there and pitched. Buchholz’s attitude is very much west coast and he can go and take his shell necklace and hippie van out to California with him. The Dodgers threw us a bone once, why not again?

It’ll be a hot stove for sure, however we can’t bring back the same 25-40 guys. If you get complacent then you end up rolling in fried chicken grease and beer like the 2011 team.

-Lager

+I apologize for the lateness of the post
+I can’t take credit on the Buchholz picture- (Barstool)
+Check out the facebook page (link top left)

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The Baseball Epidemic

Song of the post: My Oh My by Macklemore || Glory Days by Bruce Springsteen || Centerfield by John Fogerty

They say that baseball is dying, that the sport doesn’t have the same passion and feel to it as the other sports. That’s the truth, but not the whole truth. We can’t refute the cold hard facts that the sport is drawing less interest as other sports, seeing the TV ratings compared to football and basketball. baseball

Baseball is not like any other sport out there. Most of the main sports; football, hockey, basketball, soccer and even lacrosse are goal based sports. Goal-based meaning the object of the game is to score on a basket or past a goalie. Baseball is not like that. There is a uniqueness about it, and a challenge to it. Within the other sports you can say that the same attributes can be carried over to the others. For example; a center in football can be a center in basketball, a midfielder in soccer will have great ease being a forward in hockey (assuming the athlete is capable of dual sports) and so on and so forth. You can pick up what I’m getting at.

Baseball is much different, because there is no “attackers” or “defenders.” It’s the batter against the pitcher and the fielders against the ball put in play. It is a frustrating game. A game so frustrating that as a kid or adult we can lose our tempers at it. Perhaps its the competitiveness but more often than not it’s because ‘I shouldn’t strike out’ makes more sense.

There’s the ball, now hit it.

I can’t remember a time in my life where I didn’t have my own baseball glove. I was three, or so I’ve been told that I was three when I started down the baseball life; and since then it has always been a part of me. Baseball is like a mafia or a nickname, once you’re in, you’re in for life. From the time you are just learning to play; your dad chasing the ball wherever you end up throwing it, until the neighborhood kids break your window with the ball as you reminisce on the glory days; baseball is in your blood.

Some kids lose the interest for the game others grow up to play. The lucky one’s who play on the big stage are the heroes to many. None more than to the kids who aspire and want to become their idols. Kids like me, who idolized Nomar Garciaparra and could play ball all day regardless of season. Ken_Griffey,_Jr._June_2009

Not everyone is like me however, some don’t understand the game, some get bored by it and others can’t stay up late to watch the games. The sport is dying but only for the unfortunate people who don’t know what it beholds.

The average age of the avid baseball fan is, let’s face it, old guys. Key word average. Let’s say 57 for good measure; they saw the glory days of baseball; they watched it explode. Some were lucky enough to watch it grow from post WWII until now. They saw local teams soon give way to the big city teams and then saw the big city teams create magic on the diamond.

Why are they such big fans? Why isn’t this generation finding the greatness of the game?

I point straight at the time of games. Back in the beginning there weren’t high-powered lights and electricity wasn’t available as is now. Back then the games went two and a half hours, not four. Back then the ads were on the fences not in between and longer than the innings themselves.

Now when you think of baseball you think of the 7 o’clock start and the cool of the night as well as the smell of dogs in the air. It wasn’t always like that. Games were played at 1, 2, or 3 in the afternoon; what importance does this have?

The games that start at that time are available to all, kids who get out of school and immediately flip the TV on, adults at work can tune in the radio and now stream it on the computer and keep them focused until the day’s out. That garnered interest in the past. However, as more places were able to afford the big lights and there was something special about the night game, began to push away the fans slowly. Ever so slowly. 2007-02-19-caps-med

That’s a hard line to connect to the decline in popularity. Hear out my thought; the 7 o’clock games are getting over around 10:30 or 11:00; and kids can’t stay up that late and expect to get to school in the morning. Heck, even adults can’t be expected to do that. The mentality, (not including postseason) is “I’ll watch the game until I fall asleep” believe it or not. That mentality is not beneficial for the sport.

I feel that you should be excited about the game and the close ones especially. Running from the bus stop to watch the 7th, 8th and 9th; or getting out of work to have a beer while the Sox walkoff with a win.

Would it be so hard for the MLB to make a major schedule change? Sunday-Wednesday more games on during the day; with one or two on at night. Then Thursday-Saturday one or two day games and the rest night-caps. I feel that is more conducive with the working person’s schedule.

Who am I to say though? murderer-row.1

Perhaps it’s not necessarily the times of games; because that would be utterly ridiculous as the only reason. There are others such as baseball not being exciting; and then I’d tell the neigh-sayers to watch Four Days in October; or even go to a game. Sure at times its slow, so is basketball. As a Sox fan I hate to say it but I think the lack dominance of the Yankees has a bit to do with it. Without them, that’s nearly 20 million fans not interested in the games.

When the Yankees are good, it’s good for the sport. Every team has a bullseye on them at all times, and that is very important. I hated to lose to the Yankees, but if David doesn’t have Goliath then where’s the story?

Baseball isn’t about watching fast people going back and forth, back and forth, side to side, it’s a competition each pitch. Even then baseball is more than that, to me its part of life.

-Lager

For the Love of Ted Williams

Song of the post: Prisoner’s Song by the Dropkick Murphys

For the first time in 95 years the Red Sox will have a chance to win the World Series at home on Fenway soil. The Cardinals fell a consecutive night to the Boston Red Sox 3-1 in game 5 of the World Series. Jon Lester out-dueled Adam Wainwright to edge Boston for the 3-2 series lead.

Now they head back to the greatest city on Earth; one team reeling in two losses, the other with budding confidence and the redemption man on the mound.

John Lackey, Michael Wacha; Game 6, Wednesday at 8.

Eighty-two million dollars on the line and a city ready to stand for their team. The cards are in our favor, take or leave the pun, with 2 games at home, a pitcher who has embodied the grit of this team, a bench as ready to play as the starters, a DH spot in the lineup, THE DH hitting hot as all hell and 46,000 fans ready to roar. David-Ortiz-patriotic-American-flag-Boston-jpg

Bring it on.

I’m not going to analyze the game tonight simply because it was a gem, and I’m leaving it at that. I have to look ahead to the match-ups on Wednesday night. First off, Wacha who has been lights out since September has got to give at some point, perhaps the mid-week bout. Then we have a rejuvinated Victorino who was rearing to go in tonight’s game which he was scratched from. Plus, Pedroia seems to have found the hits he’s known for, then PAPI need I say more? Then Napoli who will be rested and focused on the fastballs he loves. Toss up between Gomes and Nava. And Xander.

The lineup might do with some shaking up however. Although Farrell is set in his ways. I’d like to imagine that if they mixed it up it could look like thisEllsbury, Bogaerts, Ortiz, Pedroia, Napoli, Victorino, Gomes, Drew, Ross- Lackey (P)

We will only have to wait, I’m still excited we won and can’t wait to pull a Mr. Lomonte and run out on the lawn in excitement.

-Lager

+However, I don’t think I’ll really go to those measures because it’s been 6 years not, 86. And I didn’t have to go through the agony of watching them try and fail as much.

Boys Club, Men’s League

Song of the Post: Mambo No. 5 by Lou Bega

The Red Sox beat the St. Louis Cardinals 4-2 in a stunning fashion. Bottom of the 9th with their two best bats at the plate and on deck, with a speed threat on base, Koji Uehara snap threw to 1st to pick off Wong as the final out of the game. ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

The Red Sox, locked in from the first to final pitch, were dialed in and dialed up the pressure. Down 1-0 they started a small comeback, tying it; then with one swing of the bat the momentum shifted. It swung from them to us just like that. Ortiz started the 5th with a double and “Vamanos” boom, boom HR by johnny Gomes.

The Sox will come back to Fenway regardless of the outcome.

Some strange things were done in this game. Jon Farrell pitched Lackey to set up the save, which is strange because he is scheduled to pitch in game 6. It looks as though Breslow is going to go to the bottom of the pecking order because of his antiheroics in the Series so far.

Back to Lackey; I feel as though the Sox might save him until possible game 7 or emergency game 6. Doubront looks like he owns St. Louis so I’d expect him to start.

However, on to the next game. We as Red Sox Nation have to feel confident in Jon Lester. He has brought his best to the playoffs and we’d love the same. The guy opposite him, in Wainwright, can throw a complete game gem at the drop of a hat. He has great stuff and you can imagine he will want revenge from game 1.

Sox bats are getting hot.

-Lager

 

Around the Horn and How to Lose a Baseball Game

Song of the post: Say it Ain’t So by Weezer

The Red Sox lost in St. Louis 5-4 in a weird walk-off call that has stirred up controversy from sea to shining sea. The Cardinals and Red Sox battled back and forth the entire game. Close until the very end. Then in a blur, it went from danger, to joy, to mayhem and confusion. Jarrod_Saltalamacchia_on_May_21,_2012

Koji Uehara came into the game, bottom of the 9th with 1 out and a man on 1st, his first pitch was roped down the third base line good for a double leaving a man on 2nd and 3rd. Then Jon Jay came to bat and grounded to Pedroia, who smartly fired to the catcher to get the winning run out. (2 outs now). Then seeing a slower runner advancing to third Jarrod Saltalamacchia snapped the ball down, unwisely and off-target, to third base. The ball tailed away from Will Middlebrooks and skidded around foul territory. Then was picked up and gunned back to home where Allen Craig was out…… By a mile, but wait– The ump called him safe and points to 3rd where Middlebrooks had “interfered” with the runner.

Upon further review, Middlebrooks was in the path of the runner, who had pushed the thirdbaseman, then tripped over the man he had pushed, stumbled again and was late to home. Then as FOX was showing more replays, Craig, as he was sliding into third had gone at Middlebrooks’ leg and forced him somewhat off the bag away from the throw. Thus causing him to be in the runner’s path.

I have many issues. But the one’s surrounding tonight’s game are the topic.

First and foremost; I understand there is not yet replay involved in the sport of baseball. And again, calls are rarely overturned. However, the umps already have once this series, and they could’ve at least huddled up before ending the game. Seriously it seemed as though, the call was made; the Cardinals came pouring onto the field and the Red Sox tried to argue the call. Then as some of the umps were gathering, they just sent the teams off the field. No more inquiries.

In the WORLD Series you should at least look into it, or hear different angles. I understand its a judgement call in the rulebook; but it seems like a huge stage should be taken more seriously.

Secondly, the Red Sox; STOP THROWING THE BALL AROUND!

I still have echos from my little league coach, Coach GIles, “DON’T THROW THE BALL AROUND!” “HEY SEANIE, THE BAG’S OVER HERE NOT IN MAINE!” “LOMONTE, WHAT ARE YOU DOING!??”

Echos I tell you, echos.

There have been several runs scored just by throwing the ball around. It has been said many times before and will be said many times again.

Defense wins Championships.

-Lager

It’s Simple, Kill the Batman

Song of the Post: Carolina by Parmalee

Well, so much for figuring out Wacha tonight. The Red Sox lost 4-2 to the Cardinals in game 2 of the World Series. Game one featured hits, fielding errors and a dominant pitching performance.

Tonight had two masterful pitching performances and one fielding error that cost the game. Hard to say that it didn’t cause the loss because the Red Sox were shutdown from then on. Breslow committed the biggest baseball crime there is, throwing it around. Coaches yell and yell and yell some more when little leaguers on up throw the ball away. All it does is cost runs.

Wacha pitched beautifully except for one hiccup, the Papi homerun. The Cardinals played a Cardinal type game, it played exactly to their strengths, pitching, key hits, and baserunning and then the bullpen magic.

The Red Sox will need to jump on the 3 and 4 starters in St. Louis in hopes to get the clinching game in Lester’s hand. However, Boston’s two pitchers have big questions swirling around them. Can Peavy pitch better than he did in Detroit? Can Buchholz pitch at all? How can the bullpen respond if called upon early?

Many questions loom, and we will have to wait one whole night to find out.

So like the title; its simple, don’t let their bullpen win the game, beat the starter.

-Lager

“Meh,” Jon Lester.

Song of the post: Under Control by Calvin Harris and Alesso

Well that game was how else can I say it? Under control. The Red Sox won game one of the 2013 World Series 8-1 beating the St. Louis Cardinals. It was certainly the least anticlimactic game I’ve watched all season. Never really got off my ass for it to be perfectly honest. 9062869

It seemed wrapped up in the second inning. Once Beltran left the game the Cards only had Matt Holliday as their “danger guy.”

It was “Meh” neither here nor there as October baseball games go. The media raved and raved about Wainwright and how he’s the most underrated pitcher ever and how the Cardinals tore apart Clayton Kershaw a power lefty. So you’d think the scores would be reversed as you looked at it heading into the game.
Shortly thereafter the Sox had complete control and that was that. The most tense part was when Freese was up with the bases loaded, but he feebly grounded to Lester for a 1-2-3 double play.

This game should’ve been 10-1 or higher, we had their numbers. I especially liked the Ortiz 2-run shot. “This rookie is quite possibly their best arm in the sys—ORTIZ WITH THE STATEMENT!”

Wacha better hope that heat doesn’t spread through the Boston lineup.

“Where there’s smoke, there’s fire”

-Lager