Strike 3 Looking

I got my K's on backward.

He’s Schill got it!

Wasn’t that such an excellent pun! Man, I crack myself up! ;-) Anyway, I don’t want to throw around any “I told you so’s”, but that was a good one from Schilling, eh? Aside from a solo home run by his arch-nemesis Frank Catalanotto, Curt held the entire Rangers lineup in perpetual check. Wiping the taste of Opening Day from his mouth, Schilling rolled through seven innings on 102 pitches. At one point, he retired 10 batters in a row. After some theatrics in the 8th, Papelbon came in and nailed down the last 5 outs on 15 pitches, to save the 3-2 win for the Sox and Schilling. Oh yeah, remember that Ortiz guy? He remembered he was an awesome baseball player and hit two home runs in his first two at-bats, accounting for all of the Red Sox runs. Next up, the Sox return home to Fenway for the first time in 2007. Mariners beware.

On a similar note

Both The Boston Globe and Boston Herald were thinking along the same lines in both headlines and photographs. “Dice-KKKKKKKKKK” screamed both papers on their main front pages, posting a ‘K’ for each of his 10 strikeouts.
[. . .]
The Herald’s sports page on the back employed the headline, “The Dice Is Right!”
Mike Petraglia / Special to MLB.com

How original! In other news, the Sox fell 2-0 to the Rangers today, after a lot of bad first-pitch swings. The offense will eventually come around in a big way, just wait for it.

Hop on that dead horse!

We’re only 3 games into the Sox season, and there’s already some factiods and sayings that have been regurgitated a few too many times. For example:

  • Dustin Pedrioa is the first rookie to open the season as a starter since Shea Hillenbrand in 2001.
  • Dustin Pedrioa is the 12th opening day second baseman in 13 seasons./Julio Lugo is the 4th Red Sox shortstop in 5 seasons.
  • The Japanese media/general population really dig Matsuzaka
  • Any and all puns on “Dice-K,” a nickname I’m not real big on to start with. This includes such gems as “Rolling the Dice-K” or “Ice-K” to refer to him pitching on a cold day.
  • Puns in general used as headlines for sports columns. I’ve been guilty of this myself on occasion, but why does every sports column have to start with some sort of pun? Is there a class on this in journalism school?

I’m sure there’s some other things I’m missing, but maybe this will become a recurring post. Lord knows a lot of dumb things can be said over the course of a 6-month season. ;-)

Race for the Ace

The Sox have officially won their first series of the season, mirroring the 7-1 score last night and beating Kansas City 4-1 tonight. Schilling stumbled out of the gate, but Josh Beckett and Daisuke Matsuzaka both jumped out to lead the race for ’07 staff ace. I’m sure Schill will be fired up for his next start to show he can still hang. The offense is slowly coming to life (the bottom of the order being especially slow to come about), but I’m not too worried. J.D. Drew has gotten his Red Sox career off to a great start. I said it before, and I’ll say it again, I think this is going to be a really good team. Onward to Texas!

Ouch

The Sox got their first big stinker out of the way today, in the form of a 7-1 drubbing by the Kansas City Royals (yes, those Kansas City Royals). Gil Meche justified his contract for at least a day, and Schill had pretty much nothing good to throw for hopefully just a day. Now that they’ve gotten it out of their system, let’s get a nice win streak going! Unfortunately, I didn’t get to watch most of it, so you can read better recaps from Schilling himself and/or Rob Bradford. Time to look toward Wednesday…

More from the Wild Thing

“To make a decision solely based on one year is kind of retarded, in my opinion,” he said. “This is something I’d like to do the rest of my career. Forget about starting. Go out (as a closer), chase records and hopefully do for the Red Sox what Mariano Rivera does for the Yankees.”
Jonathan Papelbon

I guess the decision was all his. ;-)

Back to the Future: Papelbon is ‘Pen-bound

Starting a new job can take a toll on the blogging, but that doesn’t stop the news from happening! As reported by Curt Schilling and the RedSox, Jonathan Papelbon will resume closing games after all. Supposedly this was all his idea, and I hope that it was at his insistence that this happened and not a panic move. I think that Piniero would have actually done well as the closer, and he’ll be a solid set-up guy. This move also pushes Tavarez into the starting rotation. I think that he’ll be a serviceable 5th starter. At least until Roger Clemens is ready to rejoin the Sox in May…

The State of the Sox

I missed all of the juicy news of the off-season while the site was down. While I can’t really do it all justice right now, I’ll give my quick impressions.

  • The Starting Rotation: In short, it looks stacked. You can look back and see all of the foolish predictions I made last year, but I’ll go ahead and do it again anyway. If they all stay healthy, I think everyone will at least 15 games. Curt will break 20, and Beckett will be right behind them. It remains to be seen how Papelbon and Daisuke will do in their first [full] year of starting in the Major Leagues, but I think we’ll see very good things out of both of them. Wake will be his usual consistent self.
  • The Lineup: The Sox subtracted Alex Gonzalez, Mark Loretta, and Trot Nixon and added Julio Lugo and JD Drew and promoted Dustin Pedroia. I think it will clearly be a net gain. 1-9 for most games should look something like: Lugo, Kevin Youkilis, David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez, Drew, Jason Varitek, Mike Lowell, Coco Crisp, and Pedroia. I expect good years for all from all of them, including bounce-back years from Varitek and Coco. I think Pedroia will surprise some people out fo the 9 hole.
  • The bullpen: Easily the biggest question mark. I think Pinerio will at least spend some time as the closer, and do a pretty good job out of the bullpen overall. We’ll probably go through some rough times (who doesn’t?) but I think these guys can, for the most part, hold down games. Hansen and Manny Del Carmen will probably spend some time in Pawtucket while the veterans arms in the pen get sorted out.

All in all, I think this will be great team and fun to watch. If you’re in the market for furniture, you might want to consider hitting up Jordan’s. There’s a good chance the Sox can win a championship this year and your furniture can be free. ;-)

Back in the saddle!

My first attempt at getting this blog going was, for all intents and purposes, a flop. After quite a bit of downtime, a changing in hosting, and (gasp!) a domain name, let’s try this again. Maybe I’ll do a better job of updating… maybe. ;-)

Woah Black Betty!

According to CBS4, the Red Sox have signed Mike Timlin to a one-year deal worth $2.8 million, plus incentives. I’m sure a lot of people will scoff at that decision, but I think it was the right thing to do. While most people will focus on the fact that Timlin will be 41 one and coming off a season in which he went 6-6 with a 4.36 ERA (and you often held your breath when he came in with runners on), it’s also a season in which he had the fewest appearances since 1999. The way I see it, with some rest in the off-season and no WBC, I think he’ll be a relative bargain given what good arms cost on the market right now. Plus, who doesn’t want to see Timlin–who has been nothing but an iron horse for us while here–wearing a Red Sox uniform when he becomes only the 11th pitcher in major league history to appear in 1,000 or more games? I certainly won’t mind it.

P.S. I’m back! I think…

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