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Nude girl through window voyeur. Every time the Iraqi government attempts to achieve some reconciliation between factions, a car bomb is readied in some garage to wreak carnage on an unsuspecting marketplace. Killings have become as much a part of the Peace Process as the green baize table. One may speak of the cost of war. And at what point do they become indistinguishable? How does one fight such a war? As in the past think of the colonists engaging the British during the American Revolution, or the Mujahideen against the Russians in Afghanistanor even now as the insurgency against the U.

Red sox boob flash keith foulkes Iraq. Is there any doubt that if the insurgency and al Qaida chose to fight one sustained battle in a single location the U.

The unfortunate reality is that it makes no difference whether U. The tools of battle used by the insurgents in Iraq and terror organizations throughout the world — an IED planted on the side of a road or in a train, the homicide bomber who walks into a crowded restaurant and detonates himself, or the use of a passenger jet as a missile have already proven their success.

But outside of the usual places we went to and the people we met, a few memories and lasting impressions remain:. Lots of laughs just tossing back and forth our favorite John Wayne movies.

Just Goodboys having some fun…. Thanks, Jackrabbit! Almost worth making the drive back to Vegas all by itself. Gay Eclipse Rum — 1 oz. Note 2 — For a slight different taste and a very pretty color, change the Orange Curacao to Blue Curacao Red sox boob flash keith foulkes watch Red sox boob flash keith foulkes go green! I always liked Keith Foulke, though he was never really cut out for playing under the media microscope that is Boston.

All the guy ever wanted to do was pitch, but somehow that was never enough for the whiny girly-girls that make up the majority of the Boston sports media, and at least I hope the minority of Red Sox fans.

Foulke lost some stature in the eyes of fans because of several flare-ups in Boston over the past two seasons. Rather than just let slide a comment made obviously out of frustration and anger by a struggling pitcher, the Dan Shaughnessy s and Tony Massarotti s of the world, who love to sit on their high thrones just waiting for a Boston athlete to say something they can use to generate negative headlines and stories, pounced, utimately forcing Foulke to issue an apology — something that never should have been necessary.

Sure, had his up and down stretches during the year showing Nude women without vigaina would either have you pumping your fist in the air in exultation, or heading for that secret spot where Red sox boob flash keith foulkes wife thought she had sufficiently hid the Cuervo Gold.

But, by and large, Foulke served the purpose for which Theo Epstein signed him during those dreary Grady Little, post Yankee series meltdown days in the winter of But none of that changes the fact that the man had a nasty bug and deserved a little slack. Not as much as he took, maybe, Red sox boob flash keith foulkes a little.

He may wander off the bag without calling time. He may forget the number of outs and get doubled off. He may throw to the wrong base, or, sometimes, no base at Red sox boob flash keith foulkes. But the dude can rake. We need to understand that it doesn't matter if Manny misses a week because he's sick or misses a week to Red sox boob flash keith foulkes chase butterflies. If the guy plays in games, he improves your chances of winning considerably.

Should there be a double-standard for Manny? Only if you seriously want to win a championship. If this is too much for Johnny Damon to bear, he can take his mediocre OBP and his Red sox boob flash keith foulkes throwing arm somewhere else. Strict Freudians, of course, believe all behavior can be traced back to the mother. Milk was scarce in Santo Domingo so Manny was weaned late. Who among us wouldn't hold the bottle and cradle the back of his head if it could guarantee a 3-for-4 with a pair of RBIs?

I say, we accept that Manny is occasionally lazy, sometimes stupid and always goofy, then praise the Red sox boob flash keith foulkes that none of those things have very much to do with hitting a baseball. Eyes on the prize, eyes on the prize.

The Bad and the Ugly. Last night's loss to the Blue Jays was a three-hour-andminute desecration of everything that is holy and sacred about baseball.

How could so much ugly exist in one game? How could one horrible loss be made up of so many awful, nauseating moments? Atrocious umpiring, inept baserunning, spastic fielding, unconscionable basecoaching, daft managing There were, of course, plenty of physical mistakes, many click them served up by that tag-team duo of Sauerback and Williamson. From vaunted to haunted, these two acquisitions have been spectacularly bad.

Sauerback 5. It's hard to believe how awful these guys have been. I suspect neither has ever had a stretch like this in his career.

Nice timing, fellas. But the killer for me, natch, is the raft of mental mistakes the team made. Bill Mueller getting doubled off second to squelch the fourth-inning rally on a routine liner to Orlando Hudson was at least uncharacteristic. He clearly got a bad read on the ball, thought it was hit harder than it was and was thinking about scoring. But in that situation - with Manny Ramirez on deck - he has to "see the line drive through.

But it was the play before that that really infuriated me. Blue Jays starter Mark Hendrickson had allowed seven consecutive batters to reach base when Todd Walker came Red sox boob flash keith foulkes the plate with runners on first and second and no one out. The guy simply could Red sox boob flash keith foulkes get an out. So what do we do? We bunt the ball right Red sox boob flash keith foulkes to him in a moment of tender mercy but terrible baseball.

How long has Moneyball been in stores? How long has Bill James been publishing? Do we need more data on the sagacity of the fourth-inning Red sox boob flash keith foulkes bunt in a slugfest with a pitcher on the ropes? Why would you ever hand that guy one of the three outs he needs to survive the inning? I don't know which rocket scientist decided to bunt - Walker or Grady Little - but it was a terrible play and a terrible bunt and plain stupid.

Editor's note: Walker was the rocket scientist. That said, Walker outdid himself in the seventh when he broke into his Cadillac trot on a ball that - surprise!

Jays skipper Carlos Tosca and I both think Walker got thrown out at second despite his desperate post-jog dash. The question is, How can a guy who hasn't hit a home run in a plate appearances be so sure a ball is gone?

And what is the danger of running hard until you see the ump signal home run? Not looking cool? In the name of Timo Perez see World Serieswhy not run hard? Trust me, Todd, nothing could be as embarrassing as your here, not even your.

Tell me again how this guy helps your team. But the absolutely most unforgivable decision of the night was made by Mike Cubbage, who once again proved he has no idea what he's doing as our third base coach. Trailing with runners on first and second and nobody out, Cubby sent Manny Ramirez on Doug Mirabelli's soft liner to center. Thankfully, Vernon Wells, too, was momentarily stunned by Cubbage's Red sox boob flash keith foulkes lack of understanding of how the bases should be run in certain situations.

Manny made a deft slide, swiping his hand across the back of the plate as Greg Myers just missed him with a sweep tag. But how, oh how, can you send Manny there, down by check this out runs with nobody out? Go ahead, make the argument. Just because we got away with it, doesn't mean it was the right thing to do.

If anything this will embolden Cubbage to make similarly bad decisions. Can you imagine if Wells comes up throwing right away? Manny gets gunned down at home plate - breaks a finger? Cubby, please, I'm begging you. If there's nobody out - never mind the huge deficit - that guy has got to be able to score standing for you to send him.

In a season that Red sox boob flash keith foulkes had this team's limited baseball I. You can't always throw your curveball for a strike.

You can't always hit a slider. But you can always make your first step back to the bag on a line drive with less then two out. You can always run hard until you're sure the ball has left the park.

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You can always read more the number of outs there are a bunch of Red sox boob flash keith foulkes obligated to tell you if you're not sure.

The prospect of missing the playoffs for failing to follow these simple tenets of baseball is like losing a golf major for signing the wrong scorecard. It just cannot happen. Dear Orioles: Thanks for Nothing. Remember those pesky Orioles who took five of seven from the Sox over two weekends, including three of four in Fenway?

The team that made every play, every pitch and got every clutch hit? The team that was destined to blow past Toronto and disrupt the six years running finish of the AL East? One week later, you wouldn't recognize them. All the O's have done since leaving their hearts and bats in Boston is get swept by the Red sox boob flash keith foulkes Bay Devil Rays and lose the first three games of a four-game series to the Yankees despite leading in the seventh inning or later of all three games.

Last night's loss established a new low of laying down for the Yankees. One night after Jorge Julio blew a ninth-inning lead by getting torched for four runs - three courtesy a home run Red sox boob flash keith foulkes Aaron.

Red sox boob flash keith foulkes

I mean, this was something out of the World Series. Only nothing this egregious happened in the World Series. The O's were between five and 10 feet from tying the score in the bottom of the 12th inning when Jack Cust - an adult male who makes his living as a professional athlete - fell flat on his face, allowing Boone to tag him as he lay supine for the game's final out.

This replay has to be seen to be believed. The Yankees had botched a rundown so completely that Cust was running home and no one was covering the plate. All he had to do was, well, not fall down.

This Red sox boob flash keith foulkes Zola Budd and Mary Decker article source tangled up.

This isn't Kevin Dyson getting tackled on the one-yard line. This is a pro baseball player with nothing between him and the plate but humidity who simply fell down.

When last we saw Jack Cust, he was adding his name to the long list of American Leaguers who have extra base hits off Jeff Suppan since his return to the Sox. The list: As incomprehensible as this sounds, Jeff Red sox boob flash keith foulkes has given up 15 extra-base hits in 16 and a third innings since we threw away next season's starting second baseman for him.

Cust ripped two of those extra-base hits off Suppan - and homered off Mariano Rivera last night to make it interesting. True, the O's sure have found interesting ways to lose to the Yankees. None more interesting than Red sox boob flash keith foulkes night. Do you remember the woman who collapsed in the L.

Chubby old tits

Coliseum at the end of the marathon at the '84 Olympics? Her body was failing, Red sox boob flash keith foulkes became incontinent, totally disoriented and had to fight through a series of full-body seizures Red sox boob flash keith foulkes drag herself across the finish line.

That's what Cust looked like, except that he had run less than feet and didn't make it to the finish line.

The loss dropped Mike Hargrove to all-time against Joe Torre. Thanks for nothing, Orioles. At the very least George Steinbrenner should send you some fine wine this offseason, since your Jeckyll and Hyde act against us and them will be the difference in the AL East. While it's true I live in the densely populated Chicken Little section of Red Sox Nation, I don't think it's hysteria to say the sky is falling - or has fallen - after losing five of seven games to the still-below.

I won't break out the C-word because I don't think this bad patch has any real element of choking to it. Striking out on a Jorge Julio dive bomb one pitch after he's just hit on the radar Red sox boob flash keith foulkes is not choking.

Giving up hits to legit studs Luis Matos and Jay Gibbons is not choking. And running the bases with your head buried in your posterior is not choking, though it is inexplicably idiotic and totally unforgivable. The most glaring revelation during these games has been the rather dire state of our pitching. In Derek Lowe's last two starts the Orioles have finished with 11 and 10 runs, visit web page. Some people are saying that Lowe has reverted to his form when he was driven from the closer role by a series of game-losing home runs Paul O'Neill's and Joe Randa's come immediately to mind.

Housemate Fuck Watch Video Calabar pussy. Now you're all buying Ramirez jerseys and wanting to braid your hair and shit? But then one can never answers sufficiently. This is why and this is where in fact become obscured by every seeking of them. In speaking, we only ever lose where we are -- we do not secure it. You are so absolutely, totally full of shit. Sir, I am resplendent in poo-poo. But my resplendence is real, is never silent and has no bitch. Only in Texas would they name a team after a bunch of jack boots whose sole purpose in life was to insure that the "Only good Mexican is a dead Mexican". Posted on Did I just hear Rem Dog say, "Buenas tardes, amigos". Three straight shut outs for the first time since August ! Hella good! Curtis lays down the hurtis! Motherfucking Schilling he gives the fish a grilling! Allen Embree, a Humvee making hitters shit their undies! Lenny DiNardo dishes last supper like Leonardo , tossing whickedo hardo. What a difference a year makes. Everything comes to those who wait. Everything comes to those who don't wait, too. Everything comes -- I guess that's the point. And here comes B. Kim …. And I am confident -- Today there will be no blood in my stool. From the Washington Post, " Federal and state regulators ruled yesterday that the drinking water delivered to 2. You know that's what took down ancient Rome? Right, just as a lead poisoned Nero played with his fiddle while Rome burned down right in front of him, an equally hallucinogenic Grady Little played with himself while Pedro wound down right in front of him. Totally fucking plausible. Well, as the Romans would say, Quod Erat Demonstrandum. Day, Night Double-header on Thursday …. Ah, the enormity of the double-header: The double-header is too much for my baseball brain. To understand this -- to understand all at once that it's too much baseball to fit inside oneself -- is to restore oneself to Sense, which in its endless failure to consume the fullness of what is real, learns at least to respect it. You're on the coffee and Demerol again I take it? Did you know some say that Jesus, the O. Get the fuck out! Jumpin' Johnny Damon, that's blasphemy! What fucking ever. Memo to blasphemers: Didn't you see the movie? Johnny Damon commandeth: The Kingdom is in center field! Hit a pop fly, I am there. Lift one to the warning track, I am there. No game Monday night, the Soxaholix await the Tampa Bay club to roll into town …. You know the best thing about the Dee Rays? Five tool player, boy next door good looks …. If he played in a major market he'd be more popular than John Kerry. Yeah, what a whore. If an Iraqi dentist can do it , so can you Steve. We believe in you, man. Catalano's taking some heat for wearing the unauthorized Red Sox cap. That ain't all. There's the " Did she show her rack? That's definitely cleavage and not what one could term a so-called rack shot. And as Marilyn Monroe said, "The trouble with censors is that they worry if a girl has cleavage. They ought to worry if she hasn't any. Catalano's what, something? You think she colors her hair? She must have some gray in that Yankee rooting guidette mane …. Nice 'n Easy. Didya know that was the first time the Red Sox have taken six of their first seven from the Spankees since ? Not that you're into living in the past or anything. Well, there is the bit about how we collectively have higher SAT scores … and are better looking … and, more importantly, we don't give false hopes to poor fucks on crutches like Belth does. Man, the Yankees sure didn't look like The Yankees, looking slow, old and emotionally distant. They stunk up the House that Ruth built. Yankees management should set up a special stench area. People like stench and Yankees fans are no different. I saw that look on Matsui's face yesterday. Like he'd whiffed some bad mofo sushi when that ball dropped fair and bounced into the stands. A stench is a stink that has found a way to entrench itself. It is a metaphor: People like a stench because it mimics their own truest moments. Can't you smell that smell? Nice cleavage. Michele is now part of my spanky lineup. Didn't I fucking tell you she's way hotter than Wonkette? Bill from home: Oh fer 19 with runners in scoring position but they still get the win?!?!? OK, Tara, question for your photographic memory… When did a team last score on Boston's pen? Tara from home: Killings have become as much a part of the Peace Process as the green baize table. One may speak of the cost of war. And at what point do they become indistinguishable? How does one fight such a war? As in the past think of the colonists engaging the British during the American Revolution, or the Mujahideen against the Russians in Afghanistan , or even now as the insurgency against the U. Consider Iraq. Is there any doubt that if the insurgency and al Qaida chose to fight one sustained battle in a single location the U. The unfortunate reality is that it makes no difference whether U. The tools of battle used by the insurgents in Iraq and terror organizations throughout the world — an IED planted on the side of a road or in a train, the homicide bomber who walks into a crowded restaurant and detonates himself, or the use of a passenger jet as a missile have already proven their success. But outside of the usual places we went to and the people we met, a few memories and lasting impressions remain:. Lots of laughs just tossing back and forth our favorite John Wayne movies. Just Goodboys having some fun…. Thanks, Jackrabbit! Almost worth making the drive back to Vegas all by itself. Gay Eclipse Rum — 1 oz. Note 2 — For a slight different taste and a very pretty color, change the Orange Curacao to Blue Curacao and watch it go green! I always liked Keith Foulke, though he was never really cut out for playing under the media microscope that is Boston. All the guy ever wanted to do was pitch, but somehow that was never enough for the whiny girly-girls that make up the majority of the Boston sports media, and at least I hope the minority of Red Sox fans. Foulke lost some stature in the eyes of fans because of several flare-ups in Boston over the past two seasons. Rather than just let slide a comment made obviously out of frustration and anger by a struggling pitcher, the Dan Shaughnessy s and Tony Massarotti s of the world, who love to sit on their high thrones just waiting for a Boston athlete to say something they can use to generate negative headlines and stories, pounced, utimately forcing Foulke to issue an apology — something that never should have been necessary. Again, I was thrilled that we could salute our team, but bummed that our exuberance got one very nice PR lady yelled at by her boss. Still, as worrisome as it can be, it is not my love of the Sox and the concomitant repercussions that have me worried. It's hate. Call it the New Hate, a lot like the old hate, only stronger, more violent. A serious strain, this new virus has spread beyond the Bronx, to the player union's office, the commissioner's office and deep into the heart of Texas. I now feel perfectly capable of punching Gene Orza in the face if given the opportunity. What did William Ligue get for attacking Tom Gamboa? That would be a great phone call. My friend T. Listen, that's not the point, can you bail me out or not? That's what I'm afraid of. Though, on a more rational point, I really would like to hear from Gene Orza how having A-Rod in New York is going to help his union in the long term. Is it good for the workers at Chevrolet if Ford gobbles up more market share? Won't a hyper-concentration of talent in one city reduce gate receipts among the competition and lead to fewer employers able to pay high wages? But I'm probably being naive. Orza was in all likelihood "gotten to" by someone from the Empire. I mean once George Steinbrenner was convicted of a felony for illegal campaign contributions to his friend Richard Nixon - who, you may remember, was himself willing to go to extremes to subvert democracy - would anything surprise us? I wonder who George's Howard Spira is these days. The New Hate is powerful and I only hope, if I'm ever in a room with Orza, I have the good sense to merely spill a drink on him and not break his nose. And just when I thought it wouldn't be possible to hate Bud Selig anymore I mean, seriously, why would he even sit down with that remorseless scumbag Pete Rose? Anyone remember listening to that whiny brat Steinbrenner complain about having to subsidize teams for their own ineptitude? Well now he has one of those inept teams subsidizing his team so substantially that it will cover his luxury tax fees, meaning all the revenue from increased ticket sales is just more gravy for that fat felon to splash around in. And, by the way, doesn't the mere fact that the Yankees could actually double ticket sales upon acquiring A-Rod after finishing in first for six straight seasons say something about New York as a sports town? As for that other venal billionaire, here's hoping that one of the many line drives Chan Ho Park gives up this year finds the owner's box and Tom Hicks's temple. If he avoids that fate, he will almost certainly be showered with obscenities for fielding yet another in a long line of last-place teams while bundling money off to New York to help the Yankees in their quest to end their three-year - heavens! Hick's campaign contributions to George W. Bush have paid off. Though he has not as yet been charged with or convicted of a felony for any of those contributions. The New Hate, of course, includes the old hate, which means I hate anyone in pinstripes. So, yes, I now hate Alex Rodriguez, the class act who did everything he could to get to Boston. Had Orza allowed the move, A-Rod would be wearing No. I would have loved him, irrationally so. But now I hate him irrationally. And whereas I used to draw the line at rooting for career-ending injuries, well, let's just say little would make me happier than penning Ode to a Sprinklerhead if A-Rod were to take a misstep and never be the same. I understand the karmic implications of this kind of thinking, especially with Pedro roughly 20 times as likely to break down, that's what makes it all so freakin' irrational. This is the New Hate. I'm not proud of it. The Idiot Which should be sometime around noon tomorrow. I mean, even Antonio Scalia couldn't vote to execute someone this stupid. Call him Gradio, the well-meaning, retarded man-child who would be nice to have around if he weren't actually making the decisions. Oh, but that's right, he didn't make the decision tonight. He left it up to his ebbing ace. What the hell does he think Pedro is going to say? If it's the pitcher's decision then the manager should just sit in the dugout until the pitcher signals him with a "no mas" wave of the arms above the head. When it mattered most, Grady pushed the biggest decision of his career onto the fragile shoulders of his little ace. Tonight Grady Little was Steinbeck's sweet Lennie Small, a confused half-wit squeezing the life out of our team as he tried to squeeze two more outs out of his half-dead starter. He was Billy Budd, stammering with apoplexy as the circumstances closed in around him. He was Faulkner's Benjy, telling his idiotic tale, full of sound and fury, signifying the end of our season. He was Charley clumsily stepping on Algernon's trachea. He was, in the end, a tragic character, a pathetic ass who had no business being put into this spotlight or subjected to this pressure. If ever a guy was born to manage in Visalia, this is the dude. The players may love him for his chummy, pat-ya-on-the-back style, but it was their championship that he tossed away by not having the stuff when it was needed. That stuff, of course, was Alan Embree's 97 mph fastball, which sat idly in the pen until the score was tied before being brought in to explode Jason Giambi's bat. But you know all that. The point is Grady wanted to win tonight, but he was just too damned stupid to figure out the best way - or the second best way - to make that happen. Should we condemn a man who doesn't know right from wrong? Should we crucify a slack-jawed huckleberry for being in over his head? Should we hunt the drooling goober down and stab him with our steely knives? No, firing him - or, rather, not picking up his option - will do. So put away your torches and pitch forks, let the bewildered beast leave in peace. We Shall Overcome Our Manager. There are many small minds in Red Sox Nation. But, sadly, none smaller than the one making the in-game decisions. The financial genius who owns the team and the boy genius who put the team together - like us - must just sit and watch in horror as Grady drives this cherry sports car with all the care of a coked-up valet. The irony, of course, is that as graduates of the Bill James-Sandy Alderson-Billy Beane Academy of Winning Baseball, the Sox' brain trust has done everything it can to remove almost all decision-making from the trembling hands of the manager. We have the greatest lineup in baseball history. Put it out there every day. Make their pitchers get 27 outs. Don't bunt. Don't run. This is the well-established formula. Sure, it needs some tweaks here and there - like, don't pitch Scott Sauerbeck if the game is still within reach, for example. But all their efforts at idiot-proofing this wonderful team are often laid to waste by one of Grady's bizarre decisions. When asked why he didn't bunt Gabe Kapler with runners on first and second and nobody out in the second inning Thursday night, Grady answered, "We didn't get to this point where we are now by moving runners that early in the ballgame. We're not going to start now. That's right, Grady. Good, Grady. We don't move runners early in the game. Perhaps Grady had forgotten that he did move a runner early in the game, sending Kapler on a pitch to Bill Mueller despite the fact that Kapler had about a inch lead against Andy Pettitte and couldn't break for second until the ball was about 20 feet out of Pettitte's hand. We all know what happened. Mueller took a borderline pitch for strike three, Kapler was thrown out by 20 feet, six of the next seven batters reached and we came away with one run. That's right, seven of the first nine Red Sox batters reached base and we scored one freakin' run! Good going, Grady. Here is why Grady's sending Kapler was so typically idiotic: The advantages of moving the runner are almost totally eliminated if the runner can't get a jump and the risks are magnified. Had Mueller hit a double-play ball, it was still going to be a double play. A line drive at somebody - double play. A strikeout - double play. Grady is so completely incapable of conducting the simplest risk-benefit analysis, it defies comprehension how this guy got to the Big Leagues. Sure, he's a great back-slapper, an avuncular chum, a perfect fourth for cards or a fishing trip. But I've never seen a worse strategist, particularly given how little strategy this team demands. Why can't the GM make the in-game decisions? Grady is also the only guy in Red Sox Nation who has yet to realize that Damian Jackson is a terrible defensive player. Bad hands and bad instincts do not a defensive replacement make. Especially when the admittedly poor defensive player he's replacing is the team's hottest hitter. The three most notable things Damian Jackson has done in the playoffs are: All Todd Walker has done is tie the postseason record for home runs by a second baseman. Todd Walker needs to play every game the rest of the way and should never be lifted in the sixth inning - the sixth inning! Yes, that's right, the most important games of the season and our two hottest hitters - Tood Walker and Jason Varitek - are being platooned, each missing a start every four games, guaranteeing that this lineup that the brass put together so meticulously will only be on the field together in half the games. For the love of God, why? What's your least favorite Grady decision? Perpetually pinch-running for our best players when we're down one on the road? Yeah, that's a good one. Treating Bronson Arroyo as if he's pitched like Sauerbeck down the stretch? That one's pretty confusing. Sticking with Burkett four batters after his tank has emptied? Would have cost a less fortunate man his job. If the Red Sox were to But should we fall short, here's hoping they offer to pick up his option, he insists on a new deal and the two sides part company. Because he's a bad manager. And, as sure as I am that Nomar will pull off a pitch and pop it up weakly - even an mph fastball in the dead center of K-Zone - I know that Grady will do something this weekend that will make us all scratch our heads, scream at the top of our lungs and reach out to our friends for commiseration. My advice to Grady is, like him, simple: In fact, if you feel yourself thinking at all, splash yourself with water, tell a joke to one of the non-roster guys and just let the players play. Goodnight, Grady. Well, at least that's settled. No more wondering about the fate of the manager. During the euphoria of last week everyone was insisting the Red Sox pick up Grady Little's option or even rip up his deal and give him a better one. Once again, a toast to Theo Epstein and his level head. Veteran players can be excused for getting caught up in the moment of clinching a playoff spot, but thank God the rookie GM and his bosses didn't. Can you imagine how we'd be feeling right now if we had given Grady an extension? They are unqualified. Hopefully Theo has already made up his mind, but if he hasn't, let the record show that the two most important plate appearances for the record-setting Red Sox this season were made by Adrian Brown and Damian Jackson. If that is not enough, I hope Theo asks around to try to find another instance where a manager has elected to walk a batter with an count to load the bases in a tie game. This is incomprehensible. Does Grady not know how precipitously a batter's OBP falls once the count is ? Does he not understand the statistical swing he's creating by walking a hitter facing an count to bring up a hitter who now only needs to reach base to beat you? With first base open and an count, Derek Lowe could have made the free-swinging Terrence Long go after his pitch. But once the bases are loaded - haven't we seen this the last two summers in the Bronx? Walking the bases loaded to pitch to Ramon Hernandez. And, like you, I've seen some beauts. Grady's final decision was by far his worst, but it was really the logical conclusion to a night of horribly inept mismanaging. The sum total of everything Grady Little has learned in a lifetime in the game seems to be lefty-lefty, righty-righty. Everyone who watches baseball is familiar with the sequence where sending up a pinch hitter sets in motion a pitching change by the opposition and the concomitant pinch hitter for the pinch hitter by the batting team. So we all knew what was coming when Grady sent David McCarty up to pinch hit for Trot Nixon in the 8th, except for Grady apparently, who could not possibly have preferred to have Adrian Brown against Chad Bradford over Trot against Rincon, who had already been taken deep by a left-handed hitter. This was an astounding managerial move. I'd rather have Trot on a prosthetic leg against Rincon than Adrian Brown against the superior Bradford. When Brown whiffed weakly, we all suspected - despite Mr. Henry's entreaty not to fret - that this stupid move would come back to bite us. Oh, it did alright. But not right away. First, Grady inserted Damian Jackson for defense in the bottom of the ninth. Coaches Fundraising. Fan Profiles. Fantasy Games. Page 2. ESPN Corrections. Join Our Team. NFL Front Page. NFL Insider. ESPN Partner: RealTime Scores. Message Boards. MLB Front Page. News Wire. NBA Front Page. Nextel Cup. Busch Series. Craftsman Truck Series. ESPN Cars. When he has a guy on his hip , what is he going to put him away with? He'll just start nibbling. Welcome back, Mike Torrez. He's just another journeyman starter who never makes a guy take an uncomfortable swing or an emergency hack. And the worse part is that he is a classic non-Bill James guy with terrible lifetime strikeout-to-walk numbers. From , in appearances starts with the Royals, he struck out and walked , a bright red flag in even the most basic Bill James analysis. Oh, and by the way, we don't have a second baseman for next season. And don't have much of one for the stretch drive this year either. Despite his remarkable Faustian run over his last 10 starts, does anybody really have any confidence in John Burkett? Aren't we all waiting for the other shoe to drop? And by shoe, I mean eight runs in an inning and a third. Thank goodness he's turned it around or we wouldn't still be clinging to one-game lead in the Wild Card, but he's scheduled to match up against Barry Zito on Tuesday in Oakland. I'm guessing Vegas will have that at right about Things would look more optimistic if the pen that once held the promise of shortening games wasn't so shaky. Our great Scotts have been anything but as Williamson 9. Sauerback has been so bad 2. Was it Morgan Stanley or Goldman Sachs that so grossly inflated Sauerback's value at the trade deadline? And where oh where have the overmatched, bail-out swings against Byung-Hyun Kim's frisbee been? As mysterious as Lowe's struggles are, the sudden solving of B. While he has been largely effective and a significant upgrade over the closer by kamikaze Chad Fox, we hardly knew ye, thankfully , he has not been the lights-out, nail-in-the-coffin closer he was in Arizona. As for Manny Ramirez getting caught stealing with one out, down by two runs and Kevin Millar at the plate or Trot Nixon getting thrown out down by three runs, it's just the latest canto in a divine comedy of horribly unfundamental baseball by these two great players. Both have forgotten the numbers of outs this season - Manny got doubled off in a game against the Yankees, Trot flipped a ball into the stands against the Angels - and both charge around the bases with a total disregard for the situation, a bad habit when you're not very fast. Today's how-not-to-run-the-bases clinic came the day after Johnny Damon cost the team a run and Manny an RBI by getting caught off third on a one-hopper back to the mound. The sad fact is that the Red Sox are a big, mostly slow team of wallbangers with thin starting pitching and a questionable bullpen. A bit long for an epitaph, but I think you get the point. It's like asking Edward Scizzorhands to hold your hemophiliac baby. One hundred twenty-eight pitches? For the second time in three starts? We have two closers, one of whom has a rubber arm. How the hell does Pedro come out for the ninth after pitches? Yes, I agree with the Big Dog, "pitch counts are for wussies," which is exactly why Petey needs to be on one every time out. In case you haven't noticed, Pedro is something of a wussy. He's our wussy, a beautiful, magical, once-in-a-lifetime wussy, but a wussy nonetheless. The only thing more fragile than his shoulder are his feelings. Sure, the 10 no-decisions in 19 starts were a drag, but word on the street was we'd solved our bullpen problems, though Scott Sauerback's 2. With a three-run lead and the spots of the Angels order due up, surely we could have spared Pedro those last 20 high-intensity pitches. And it's not like he was dominating. He had only two innings. For the first five innings Aaron Sele was throwing harder than he was. He needed a spectacular catch from Johnny Damon on a drive to the wall in left center in the seventh and was twice taken high off the monster by David Eckstein. One aborted start later and Petey confirmed that he'd gotten hurt in the Angels came. Still waiting on the apology, Bawb. I'm not saying he's hurt now, but he has definitely been in a funk, where he is forced to battle for every out. These funks are often followed by a trip to the DL, which is much more calamitous than a trip to the DR though perhaps not in all quarters of Red Sox Nation. Does anyone think Pedro has looked sharp lately? In the pitch grind against the Empire? Against Shane Spencer in Arlington? During tonight's nifty hitter? The guy has clearly been laboring. So why, why, why would you not lift him after eight? We're in the middle of a games-indays stretch, no additional rest for Pedro between starts. I don't like it when he flies home between starts not because he's abandoning his teammates but because I can't stop thinking about Roberto Clemente. I also don't like it that Petey has been doing the Steve Carlton thing with the media, because, unlike Lefty, Pedro is a great quote. I really don't like the fact that the bullpen has been tagged for seven losses in his starts. But pitches? Say it ain't so, Gump. In his last three starts Pedro has thrown pitches. He has allowed 32 baserunners in 21 and two-thirds innings over that stretch, a disturbing 1. On Monday he'll face Tim Hudson at Oakland. Hudson watched the ninth inning tonight after throwing pitches through eight. Well, if the Red Sox fall short this season, let me be the first to say, "It's not your fault. And it won't be my fault either. There are members of the Red Sox who have such a hard time looking in the mirror you'd think they were sitting shivah for the entire season. My wife is of the opinion that the Red Sox are so weighed down by the fans' negativity that they simply can't perform under the pressure we put on them. Over the last couple of disappointing seasons, I was starting to think she might have a point. At a time when Sox fan optimism was the highest it's been since - I don't know, Tony Pena took Zane Smith deep in the 13th in '95 or Blistergate in '86 - the Red Sox promptly waded into the four-man buzz saw of Robert Ellis They'll probably lose four straight to the Rangers and Orioles. Who knew these slugging Ubermen would find their Kryptonite in the form of an mph fastball? You half-expected Grady to explain away the losing streak by saying, "We just ran into some bad pitching. What the slide proved was that any journeyman or rebuilt veteran can beat the Sox if our boys are crazily pull-happy and trying to hit every pitch feet. Overnight the entire team became Dave Kingman. They even slugged six home runs in the four losses. Six home runs that produced a grand total of eight runs because the team so resolutely refused to take a walk or bang a base hit to the opposite field. Everyone was flying open like a rollerblind, trying to jerk everything, particularly pitches down and away. Even Manny, who can usually be counted on to provide something resembling an "approach" at the plate, was expanding the zone in a frighteningly Nomar-esque stretch. Kevin Millar continued his sad patch that has seen him go from Pat Burrell '02 to Burrell ' He's so backward right now that he's taking pitches on the inner half and trying to yank pitches that are in the dirt away. Still, Grady benched David Ortiz against Hentgen in favor of Millar, ignoring the fact that they've been going in opposite directions for over a month when someone brought it to his attention that Ortiz was 1-for lifetime against Hentgen. Only Gump could be swayed by such a small sample against the much more relevant evidence of the last six weeks. No, the Sox didn't lose these four games because our super-talented baseball columnists ask loaded questions or because we as fans boo and scream and throw chairs across our living rooms. They lost because they played like crap. They lost because their No. They lost because Ramiro Mendoza's location is so bad it could be described as Love Canal adjacent. They lost because Todd Jones walked the lead man, nibbled his way around Hank Blalock and missed Jason Varitek's glove by 18 inches on the gopher ball to A-Rod. You could even say they lost two games because their best player's wisdom tooth got infected. But you can't say they lost because we are so negative. Do you think the Orioles had their second-largest crowd of all-time at Camden Yards on Saturday because Red Sox fans are negative? So negative they'll drive through the night to see their team turn in a heartless effort, lowlighted by another slump-shouldered road loss for Sir Sulk. No, the players can point fingers - Todd Jones certainly wasn't the first - but if they fade this year, it won't be the demanding fans or the probing writers that are to blame. Nor will it be the front office. Nor the idiot manager. Then again, it might not be the players' fault either. It might just be that the Yankees, A's and Mariners are a little bit better, which would be a bummer but not a huge shock. During today's rain delay I took advantage of The Package to watch the Mariners crush the white hot White Sox for the second day in a row and the A's and Yankees lock up in a brilliant duel. As we look ahead to 14 straight against the A's and Mariners and then a home-and-home with the Yankees, I can't say I feel real confident right now that we can win 10 of these 20 games. Our rotation looks to be made up of a fragile ace, three Nos. The A's have three No. The M's would seem to have an ace Pineiro , two No. So maybe it'll be no one's fault if we come up short, just a very good team edged out by three slightly better teams and a system that rewards the mediocre AL Central winner with a playoff spot. But if it's no one's fault, whose name will I be cursing when I throw a chair across my living room if we don't make it? OK, Seriously Ramiro Mendoza's ERA is 6. I didn't see his starts against the Yankees or Blue Jays that apparently earned him a second start against the Blue Jays four earned runs and a start against the D-Rays seven earned runs and a start against the Rangers seven earned runs , but this guy clearly sucks. He has a C- sinker and a D curve. Try getting Major Leaguers out with that repertoire. The truth is that Mendoza has always been hit fairly hard except for a couple of double-play ground balls against the Red Sox in crucial spots. So now we pay doubly by giving away games at the end of July in the feeble hope that he'll recapture some magic that only existed in a couple of isolated moments against us. Not good, brain trust. But somehow Mendoza remains on the roster. Watching Mendoza pitch makes one wonder, what are the numbers when a position player is forced to the mound? Could Jose Oquendo be worse than this guy? Of Mendoza's pathetic tenure with the Townies, I will say only this: His body language matches his performance. Maybe it looks different from the on-deck circle or the dugout or the seats behind home plate, but on the centerfield TV camera it looks like Mendoza has nothing. No bite, no pop, no drop, nothing. All season. Nobody ever takes an uncomfortable swing against this guy. The margin here is razor thin. If Ramiro "bet the over" Mendoza makes one more start for the Red Sox, they will not make the playoffs. Freddy Garcia would make us the best team in baseball. The gap between Mendoza and the Big Chief is why I can't sleep. Mueller Vexes Pitchers. Has Shea Hillenbrand figured out why he was traded yet? He will if he reads the morning papers. Right after he learns that he's been joined on the D-Backs by fellow free swinger Raul Mondesi, Hillenbrand will undoubtedly find a blurb about the history-making night of Bill Mueller. Until tonight Mueller had perfected the art of playing as well as humanly possible without anyone seeming to notice. Even his manager still has him batting down in the order despite an OPS that is hundreds of points higher than Todd Walker's. And despite his phenomenal production some fans still subject his name to a cringe-inducing mispronunciation. For the first games of the season, Mueller had been content to nose ahead of fellow good guy Kevin Millar for the team's 10th Player Award. Of course being fourth in the league is only good enough for third on the team, since Manny Ramirez and Trot Nixon are behind Carlos Delgado. Unlike Manny and Trot, however, Mueller has yet to forget how many outs there were in an inning. Fourth in the league in OPS! Sixty-six points ahead of A-Rod! It's just nuts. Mueller has 52 extra-base hits in at-bats, a staggering one-every Delgado goes for extra bases once every 6. Mueller is second in the league in hitting, third in doubles and fifth in slugging. Mueller has made nine errors on an infield voted the worst in the American League by the players. And unofficially, Mueller leads the league in pitch at-bats. He is also last in the league in self-promotion. His reaction to making history tonight: Some questions: Though this season is unlike anything Mueller has ever done in the big leagues, his OBP coming into this season was. Three nights later with the Sox trailing in Kansas City, Sveum was presented a big challenge but not an unprecedented one for third base coaches. With one out and runners on first Bellhorn and second Damon , David Ortiz hit a deep drive to right. Damon went to tag up while Bellhorn ran hard to second, so when the ball went over Matt Stairs' head both Damon and Bellhorn were bearing down on Sveum. Sveum was unable to send Damon and hold Bellhorn, though at that point Bellhorn must be anticipating a hastily expressed second signal from the coach since he knows he's running up Damon's back. In his mea culpa to the Globe's Bob Hohler - parantheticalized as "I brain- cramped " - Sveum as much as admitted he wasn't up to the task. The factor that made Sveum's cerebral flatulence so odious was the on-deck batter: Manny Ramirez. In today's win Sveum gaffed in the other direction. With the bases loaded and one out, David Ortiz hit a ground ball single to right field. In Sveum's defense, the admittedly slow Kevin Millar was on second and the Sox were trailing But here are the three reasons Sveum should have sent Millar: At that point you have to push that second run across on the Ortiz hit and assume that Crespo one RBI in 74 at-bats to that point won't get the job done. Sure enough Crespo hits a chopper to first base and only a freak play on which Ken Harvey's throw hit pitcher Jason Grimsley in the face prevented a force out at home. Either Dale Sveum doesn't understand the criteria for making a decision in the third base coaching box or he panics. Either way, once again, our third base coach is killing us. Where have you gone, Gene Lamont? How complete is the brain-washing once you drink the Yankee Kool-Aid? When Alex Rodriguez returned to Texas and was roundly booed, announcer Ken Singleton was incredulous. He simply couldn't understand why the fans were booing a guy who had played so well for the Rangers. Really, Ken? You have no idea? A guy comes to town, usurps so much payroll that the team cannot field a contender, then demands to be traded because the team cannot afford to field a contender and Ken Singleton and Bobby Murcer just can't understand why the fans are booing. Given that he is physically incapable of pitching a complete game and usually gets roughed up a little as his fastball inches upward in the early going, what does Bill James think Pedro Martinez is worth at this stage in his career? And what did Terry Francona see in Anaheim that made him think Pedro should go back out for the sixth on Wednesday night? Even the pitch he struck out Kotchman with to end the fifth was in a bad spot. Mike Timlin redeemed himself today with three perfect innings after that awful appearance in Anaheim you've got to just bounce splits against Vlad when he's that hot , but we need Scott Williamson back. Keeping him was the silver lining to the A-Rod deal falling through. Interesting that three of the five guys in that deal Nomar, Mags, Williamson have been hurt. Crespo jumped from one ribbie every 74 ABs to one every Just noticed that before B. Kim was demoted four of the Sox five starters were named to the All-Star game. Pete and D-Lowe in the A. And yet only one of those guys seems likely to return this year. It is, as always, with great trepidation that I declare my love for this latest edition of the Boston Red Sox. I know in doing so I have almost certainly guaranteed a four-game losing streak. The Sox are a beguiling and bizarre Frankensquad. Not just any guys either. Trot Nixon finished fifth in the A. Nomar Garciaparra and Bill Mueller have won three batting titles between them. Ramiro Mendoza… okay, not all the injuries have hurt the team. Mark Bellhorn has been such an incredible find that it can now be reasonably suggested that the team will not necessarily be better with the return of the notoriously impatient Garciaparra. I have, however, seen him hit for power to all fields, drilling a gap seemingly every time there are runners in scoring position. Sure, he fans a lot and has a certain je ne sais Todd Walker about him defensively, but it just seems like this guy helps you win. Yet another tip of the cap to Theo. Apparently not. On the other hand, the whole point of playing a slow guy out of position is to enhance your lineup. This is clearly not happening. More speed, more range, better arm, fewer GIDPs. But seriously, Trot, hurry back… that is, if you can hurry back without hurting yourself again. One gets the feeling that for enduring baseball health the perfect offseason training regimen lies somewhere between what Trot does and what Nomar does. Whatever, the dude is — as my buddy Jeff says — nails. But far and away the most thrilling upgrade from last year is the presence of Curt Schilling. We — and our fathers and grandfathers before us - have become so accustomed to bristly, angry, truculent superstars think Ted Williams, Bill Russell, Yaz that it is hard to believe this guy is for real. Intelligent, hard-working, super-prepared, good-humored… and he can pitch! Still say he nibbled against Orlando Hudson before giving up that granny to Chris Gomez. This peppy ditty should be piped into the Red Sox clubhouse 24 hours a day until every member of the team learns to count to three. I can understand losing track of the outs in a late August game between the Tigers and Indians at Comerica. But how the hell do the Red Sox repeatedly drift into vapor lock in critical games against the team we most need to beat? In the span of 11 months, just off the top of my head, the Sox have had four separate outfielders lose track of the number of outs. Two of them have done it twice. In a July series against the Yankees at Fenway, Manny Ramirez was off on the crack of the bat on a routine fly ball, mistakenly thinking there were two outs, and was doubled off to end the inning. Later last season, in a series at Yankee Stadium, Manny thought he had caught the third out and began jogging into the dugout, only to turn around when he saw his teammates laughing at him. This is hilarious. Oh boy, that is funny. Great stuff. So when Pokey Reese sliced a hit toward the right-field corner Kapler played it halfway and was only able to move up to second. At which point first base coach Lynn Jones and third base coach Dale Sveum certainly alerted him to the situation, right? Or did they not know the number of outs either? I mean, seriously, what the hell were the base coaches doing between that brain cramp and the one that immediately followed it. I was thinking about the break I was trying to get off [Kevin] Brown. I was focusing on him and I wasn't thinking of anything else. I never figured out there were two outs. I got to the dugout and Tito [Francona] said it was going to take eight hits to score me. And he was probably right. Oh, this just gets funnier and funnier! How about fines for Kapler, Sveum and Jones? This Little League crap must stop. Was any Red Sox fan surprised that our fragile former ace got shelled in bad weather on four days rest against the Orioles or that our workload-loving sinkerballer got shelled on 10 days rest against the Yankees? As a longtime baseball man surely Francona understands that sinkerballers thrive on work. The rest of the staff went more or less on schedule. Why the rush to bring Pedro back on four days rest? If, as has been suggested, it was to avoid the circus atmosphere of having Pete pitch against the Yankees, then we are still letting the Evil Empire dictate what we do. As stupid as it would be to move Pedro up to pitch against the Yankees, it is just as dumb to move him up to miss the Yankees. I would like Derek Jeter to show us on a K-Zone diagram any location where a called third strike would not send him into a crying fit. Twice over the weekend he got punched out on pitches right down the middle and broke into his whining, head-shaking, supremely arrogant tantrum. Maybe he should sit down in the video room with Mike Mussina and Kevin Brown and see if they would expect to get those pitches. Or is Jeter implying that the double standard that applies to the Yankees in all other facets of Major League Baseball should also apply to the strike zone? The sad thing is that we finally had a goalie who looked like he could carry a team to the Cup. But Hal Gill got walked by Alexei Kovalev and no one found Richard Zednick and no one could make a play and… well, that will be a bad taste to swish around throughout the lockout. They're No Angels Too Bad. As anyone who knows me can attest, I am prone to irrational overreaction immediately after Opening Day losses. Which is why I waited two full days - and for a victory - before writing off this season. Last year, when Chad Fox coughed up a lead in the bottom of the ninth on a three-run homer by Carl Crawford in a loss to the D-Rays, I went into full Chicken Little mode, telling anyone who would listen that we had no bullpen, our manager was an idiot and the season was over. In my defense, two of those three statements were true. The bullpen was awful and the manager, well, you know. In fact, isn't it ironic - or tragic - that when the bullpen became one of our strengths in the playoffs, the idiot refused to Two years ago, after a loss to the Blue Jays at Fenway, I not only declared the season a bust, I insisted that Pedro's career was over. He proceeded to go over the next two years. But this year is different. You see, in and I had very high hopes that felt dashed on Opening Day. Curt Schilling and Keith Foulke are major upgrades, but everywhere else are ominous warning signs. After a charmed year in the health department, that fluky, freaky injury pendulum is swinging back violently. Trot's back, Nomar's Achilles and B. And as the radar readings sink, so, too, must the Sword of Damocles Dr. Andrews' scalpel that hovers by a thread over the most closely monitored rotator cuff in New England. Indeed, Pedro has a look of resignation that suggests his next trip to the DL may be more like 15 months than 15 days. Bill Mueller's elbow is bothering him, leading to a couple of throws at the end of spring training that evoked the traumatizing Summer of Hobson when Butchy made 43 errors in Speaking of whom, does Johnny Damon look a step slow this year? And does anyone think Mueller can repeat his phenomenal season? Or Mike Timlin? Will Pokey Reese hit. Does Ellis Burks have anything left, even in a supporting role? And what of the Toxic Twins and their anger? Nomar, perhaps rightfully, hasn't stopped seething since The Deal first came up, and one has to wonder as he nurses yet another tendon injury not only what Jack McDowell would say about Nomie but whether he'll be in a huge rush to come back. And Pedro - who ardently believes contracts should be based on past performance and not a realistic view of the future - will probably never be happy in Boston again. What do we do with these guys? Hope the savings was worth it. So, yes, I think that despite the addition of that uber-classy stud Schilling and a reliable closer, this season will ultimately be a big disappointment. But I reserve the right to be wrong. Meet the New Hate. I love baseball. I really, really love baseball. But my love of baseball is not an irrational, do-something-I'll-regret-later kind of love. That kind of love I reserve specifically for the Red Sox. For instance, the chair had not even impacted on the far wall of my apartment and I was already regretting it when I snapped during a regular-season game in after Pedro Martinez hit Steve Cox with a curveball with the bases loaded. It wasn't forcing in the run so much as knowing Petey was about to go on the DL, though forcing in a run against the D-Rays was depressing in its own right. I also regretted it shortly after running down to the railing to scream at Jimy Williams as he walked back to the dugout after leaving Pedro in too long in a game in Anaheim - what is with these managers who know so much less about Pedro's limitations than we do? I didn't regret letting Williams know what I thought of his decision, but my scream was so blood-curtling that I actually injured my larynx and had to sit quietly for the rest of the game. Again, I was thrilled that we could salute our team, but bummed that our exuberance got one very nice PR lady yelled at by her boss. Still, as worrisome as it can be, it is not my love of the Sox and the concomitant repercussions that have me worried. It's hate. Call it the New Hate, a lot like the old hate, only stronger, more violent. A serious strain, this new virus has spread beyond the Bronx, to the player union's office, the commissioner's office and deep into the heart of Texas. I now feel perfectly capable of punching Gene Orza in the face if given the opportunity. What did William Ligue get for attacking Tom Gamboa? That would be a great phone call. My friend T. Listen, that's not the point, can you bail me out or not? That's what I'm afraid of. Though, on a more rational point, I really would like to hear from Gene Orza how having A-Rod in New York is going to help his union in the long term. Is it good for the workers at Chevrolet if Ford gobbles up more market share? Won't a hyper-concentration of talent in one city reduce gate receipts among the competition and lead to fewer employers able to pay high wages? But I'm probably being naive. One may speak of the cost of war. And at what point do they become indistinguishable? How does one fight such a war? As in the past think of the colonists engaging the British during the American Revolution, or the Mujahideen against the Russians in Afghanistan , or even now as the insurgency against the U. Consider Iraq. Is there any doubt that if the insurgency and al Qaida chose to fight one sustained battle in a single location the U. The unfortunate reality is that it makes no difference whether U. The tools of battle used by the insurgents in Iraq and terror organizations throughout the world — an IED planted on the side of a road or in a train, the homicide bomber who walks into a crowded restaurant and detonates himself, or the use of a passenger jet as a missile have already proven their success. But outside of the usual places we went to and the people we met, a few memories and lasting impressions remain:. Lots of laughs just tossing back and forth our favorite John Wayne movies. Just Goodboys having some fun…. Thanks, Jackrabbit! Almost worth making the drive back to Vegas all by itself. Gay Eclipse Rum — 1 oz. Note 2 — For a slight different taste and a very pretty color, change the Orange Curacao to Blue Curacao and watch it go green! I always liked Keith Foulke, though he was never really cut out for playing under the media microscope that is Boston. All the guy ever wanted to do was pitch, but somehow that was never enough for the whiny girly-girls that make up the majority of the Boston sports media, and at least I hope the minority of Red Sox fans. Foulke lost some stature in the eyes of fans because of several flare-ups in Boston over the past two seasons. Rather than just let slide a comment made obviously out of frustration and anger by a struggling pitcher, the Dan Shaughnessy s and Tony Massarotti s of the world, who love to sit on their high thrones just waiting for a Boston athlete to say something they can use to generate negative headlines and stories, pounced, utimately forcing Foulke to issue an apology — something that never should have been necessary. Sure, had his up and down stretches during the year that would either have you pumping your fist in the air in exultation, or heading for that secret spot where your wife thought she had sufficiently hid the Cuervo Gold..

But the fact is Derek Lowe has never been hit like this with the Red sox boob flash keith foulkes Sox. His ERA in was 3. Even in his woeful rookie season for the Mariners when he posted a 6. This means that in an average nine-inning start Lowe would allow Do these numbers explain the long face or does the long face explain these numbers?

While his pouting is hard to watch, Sir Sulk's mound demeanor is less worrisome than the simple fact that his command has been awful. His strikes click here like strikes and Red sox boob flash keith foulkes balls look like balls. His slump may be a mystery, his pitches are not. Meet the new Jeff Suppan, same as the old Jeff Suppan. Ever wonder how a pitcher could give up home runs over four seasons pitching in a big yard like Kansas City?

Now you know. What is his out pitch? When he has a guy on his hipwhat is he going to put him away with? He'll just start nibbling. Welcome back, Mike Torrez. He's just another journeyman starter who never makes a guy Red sox boob flash keith foulkes an uncomfortable swing or an emergency hack. And the worse part is that he is a classic non-Bill James guy with terrible lifetime strikeout-to-walk numbers.

Fromin appearances starts with the Royals, he struck Red sox boob flash keith foulkes and walkeda bright red flag in even the most basic Bill James analysis.

Oh, and by the way, we don't have a second baseman for next season. And don't have much of one for the stretch drive this year either. Despite his remarkable Faustian run over his last 10 starts, does anybody really have any confidence in John Burkett?

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Aren't we all waiting for the other shoe to drop? And by shoe, I mean eight runs in an inning and a third. Thank goodness he's turned it around or we wouldn't still be clinging to one-game lead in the Wild Card, but he's scheduled to match up against Barry Zito on Tuesday in Oakland. I'm guessing Vegas will have that at right about Things would look more optimistic if the pen that once Red sox boob flash keith foulkes the promise of shortening games wasn't so shaky.

Our great Scotts have been anything but as Williamson 9. Sauerback has been so bad 2. Was it Morgan Stanley or Goldman Sachs that so grossly inflated Sauerback's value at the trade deadline? And where oh where have the overmatched, bail-out swings against Byung-Hyun Kim's frisbee been? As mysterious as Lowe's struggles are, the sudden solving of B. While he has Red sox boob flash keith foulkes largely effective and a significant upgrade over the closer by kamikaze Chad Fox, we hardly knew ye, thankfullyhe has not been the lights-out, nail-in-the-coffin closer he was in Arizona.

As for Manny Ramirez getting caught stealing with one out, down by two runs and Red sox boob flash keith foulkes Millar at the plate or Red sox boob flash keith foulkes Nixon getting thrown Red sox boob flash keith foulkes down by three runs, it's just the latest canto in a divine comedy of horribly unfundamental baseball by these two great players. Both have forgotten the numbers of outs https://calendar.ad-global.london/pub8923-macik.php season - Go here got doubled off in a game against the Yankees, Trot flipped a ball into the stands against the Angels - and both charge around the bases with a total disregard for the situation, a bad habit when you're not very fast.

Today's how-not-to-run-the-bases clinic came the day after Johnny Damon cost the team a run and Manny an RBI by getting caught off third on a one-hopper back to the mound. The sad fact is that the Red Sox are a big, mostly slow team of wallbangers with thin starting pitching and a questionable bullpen.

A bit long for an epitaph, but I think you get the point. It's like asking Edward Scizzorhands to hold your hemophiliac baby. One hundred twenty-eight pitches?

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For the second time in three starts? We have two closers, one of whom has a rubber arm. How the hell does Pedro come out for the ninth after pitches? Yes, I agree with the Big Dog, "pitch counts are for article source which is exactly why Petey needs to be on one every time out.

In case you haven't noticed, Pedro is something of a wussy. He's our wussy, a beautiful, magical, once-in-a-lifetime wussy, but a wussy nonetheless. The only thing more fragile than Red sox boob flash keith foulkes shoulder are his feelings.

Sure, the 10 no-decisions in 19 starts were a drag, but word on the street was we'd solved our bullpen problems, though Scott Sauerback's 2. With a three-run lead and the spots of the Angels order due up, surely we could have spared Pedro those last 20 high-intensity pitches. And it's not like he was dominating. He Red sox boob flash keith foulkes only two innings.

Ftreeporn Com Watch Video Amteur nudes. They just insist on bashing the pessimism out of us. We've been hearing all our lives that you can't win it all with suspect pitching and defensive holes. One thing we haven't heard - because it went without saying - is that no team would ever challenge the '27 Yankees for sheer murderousness. But here we are, on the verge of breaking the Bombers' single-season record for slugging percentage. And while we may have no idea how we're going to get the last six to nine outs of a playoff game, no team can match the problems the Sox present in terms of getting outs Our strengths are more glorious than our weaknesses are glaring. You know the numbers. Nine guys in double figures in homers. Eight guys over 80 RBIs. Club record for homers. Major League record for extra-base hits. And all that with two of their boppers - Nomar Garciaparra and Kevin Millar - doing nothing for almost a month. But will the magic bats be enough to mask the Big Problem? Two of the bullpen cures - Scott Williamson and Scott Saurebeck - have been worse than the original disease. And yes, that was the same Chad Fox continuing his awesome stretch for the Marlins with a huge punchout against the Phils yesterday. Williamson has been pitching with a "barking" arm and a heavy heart as his infant son was hospitalized with a high fever. But his child is home now and an MRI said his shoulder is sound. I like to think he's going to have two strong tune-up outings in these last five games and be his old dominant self in the playoffs. Sauerbeck, meanwhile, has invented a whole new pitching category: Have you ever seen a guy who can't throw 90 who was this wild. The difference, of course, is that guys like Dalkowski and young Mitch Williams were almost unhittable. Sauerbeck has also allowed 16 hits in his 14 and two-thirds. This is my question for the good people at Elias: It can't have happened that often. But maybe last night's escape job will give Sauerbeck some confidence, he'll start finding the strike zone with his curve and he'll not only make the playoff roster but actually contribute with memorable strikeouts of Eric Chavez and Jason Giambi. Hey, stop giggling, just two months ago this guy was the most coveted lefty setup man in baseball. Byung-Hyun Kim is back. He has responded to getting pulled Friday night in Cleveland with three straight strong outings. True, he has very little idea where the ball is going and will fall behind on a guy with a. Alan Embree giving up four hits to six batters Monday night two on fastballs makes the nervous fan wish he had more than one pitch. But he's a gamer, capable of getting in a groove. Can't you see him blowing down Eurubiel Durazo in a tight spot? And maybe Mike Timlin will keep being the rock he's been all season except for all those home runs. If these five embattled relievers can get hot for three weeks We should be slight favorites against the A's, slight underdogs against the Yankees sorry Twins fans, bad matchup for you and slight home-field thanks Hank Blalock favorites in the World Series. Why not us, indeed? Damn, I knew this was a bad idea. Burkett has given up hits to two of the first three guys. Deep, Troubled, Thoughts. I'll never forget the high school basketball practice where Coach Hunnewell angrily asked a teammate of mine why he had tried to make a certain pass and the flustered kid said, "I thought he was open. We shook our heads. It gave me a whole new perspective on the dangers of thinking when playing sports. You can't think. You can only know. Intimidated as we were by our former Marine coach, we mostly just soiled our shorts. Which brings us to the long list of high school level mental mistakes the Red Sox have made this season. Johnny might have KNOWN that this was not the case had he asked the umpire standing a few feet away, but chose instead to trust his thoughts and began trotting back to first, only to be tagged out to end the inning. If this were an isolated incident, it might be funny, especially given that the team won and looks to be steamrolling into the playoffs. But not only was tonight's brain cramp not the least bit unusual, it might not make the season's top five. When he heard the panic in the ballpark, he KNEW he'd made a mistake. That ninth-inning narcolepsy completed quite a week for Trot. The Sox lost, On Friday, the eve of the Big Gaffe, Trot got caught between second and third and ended a rally when a throw to the plate was cut off. Manny Ramirez, of course, is the undisputed world champion of brain cramps. Since no one was on base, Pedro led the chuckles. Not as funny, perhaps, was the game in Fenway in late July against the Yankees when Manny THOUGHT there were two outs and began loping around the bases on a routine pop fly to right that became a double play in a one-run loss. Todd Walker has had two astounding moments of vapor lock. Last month he broke into a home run trot when he THOUGHT the ball was gone, but it bounced off the wall and only a questionable call at second kept him from a long walk of shame back to the dugout. About two thirds of the way there, he realized the flaw in his thinking: Again, he was bailed out, this time as Nomar lined a double to left with Walker otherwise hung out to dry. As we look ahead - and you know you are - to Red Sox games next week, don't we have enough to worry about? Isn't the fact that we have no real exit strategy for recording outs in a playoff game ample ulcer material? Why must we also be forced to fret over whether or not our guys know how many outs there are or if there is a runner on the base ahead of them? I don't care if Grady Little or Mike Cubbage has to call time after every pitch and make a big announcement. Please, Baby, Take a Pitch. It took Victor Zambrano pitches to record 21 outs in the Devil Rays' humiliation of the Red Sox last night that gave no indication of which team is actually in a pennant race. That's exactly six pitches per out for the pitcher that leads the American League in walks. But two of those 21 outs came on first pitches. Which hitter - despite facing the starting pitcher with the worst control in the league - do you suppose did not change his approach at the plate? The mere fact that everyone knows the answer to this question, that the question itself is rhetorical, is indicative of the depth of this problem. Yes, Nomar Garciaparra's 9-for Including his lunging, flailing strikeout on a pitch in the dirt and a foot outside in the seventh, Nomar made three outs on six pitches for an average of 2. He was also hit by a pitch, which, to his credit, he didn't swing at. The rest of the team forced Zambrano to make an average of almost seven pitches per out. With a little help from Nomar, mission accomplished. Sure, a Bill Mueller or a David Ortiz might battle you, but you can always look forward to that respite when Nomar comes up. He may get a base hit or a double off the wall, but he will not fight you tooth and nail or participate in 21st century baseball's war of attrition. You don't have to ask Nomar if he's read Moneyball to know that he flatly rejects Billy Beane's and Theo's perhaps organization-wide edict to see a lot of pitches. On Tuesday night, he drew two walks, allowing me to dream that he had had some kind of epiphany. His early career trajectory seemed to suggest a player who might one day draw walks as he went from the low 30s to 51 in to a career-high 61 in But then came the split longitudinal tendon and a return to the reckless, free-swinging days of his youth. Last year he walked only 41 times in almost plate appearances. This season he has walked 37 times, again in almost plate appearances. He has swung at more first pitches than any batter in the Majors. Now Nomar will argue, "Hey man, I'm hitting. Trot Nixon. This is because they do so judiciously. If Nomar swung at fewer first pitches - which are almost never cookies given his reputation - his first-pitch BA would rise too, right along with his OBP. Nomar has had an incredible season. His defense has never been better. His baserunning has won games. And, until his recent three-week slide, he was a legitimate MVP candidate. But you simply cannot approach Victor Zambrano the same way you'd approach Bob Tewksbury, who walked a guy every other month. You don't beat a guy like Zambrano by being aggressive. You beat him by being patient. But Nomar, as you've noticed, does things his way. And he's given every indication that he'd probably prefer to play in a city where rabid jackasses like me aren't charting the pitch counts of his at-bats. A city where no one would notice that he's become a dead pull hitter who never stays back on the ball and never hits with authority to right like he used to all the time. A city where he could fly off the ball and pop up to the right side for the th time and be greeted by a collective yawn on his way back to the dugout. A city where people believe there is something more important than baseball. I live in that city. And if Nomar wants to be a. But here goes. Eyes on the prize, people, eyes on the prize. I know it's hard to stay focused when you're waking up in the middle of the night with hot flashes of hatred for the defending AL batting champ who hit home runs for the Red Sox in fewer at-bats than Ted Williams we hated him, too, apparently , Jimmie Foxx or Jim Rice. You can make the personal decision that you'd rather see Manny Ramirez punished than see the Red Sox win a World Series, but don't delude yourself into thinking that the team can "cowboy up" and win this thing without him. Me, I don't care if the players respect Grady Little. I don't care if Johnny Damon's righteousness has been offended by his teammate's fecklessness. I don't care about sober interludes with Enrique Wilson. I care about one thing. See if you can guess what it is. We all knew what we were getting with Manny Ramirez. We saw those stats with the Indians, salivated and agreed to look past all the reports out of Cleveland that he would drive us crazy. In fact, if you remember, part of the reason the Tribe front office wasn't broken-hearted to see him go was that Manny missed 44 games his last year on Lake Erie with a hamstring injury that no one else thought was bad enough to keep him sidelined. So now, in his third spectacular season in Boston, he misses four games with Pharyngitis - and is benched for a fifth - and the guy becomes Public Enemy No. It's as if he didn't run out a one-hopper back to the mound. Mon Dieu! Blame Manny! Tim Wakefield hits Nick Johnson with an pitch then walks Jason Giambi after being ahead in the disastrous first inning of an loss. But Wakefield is a gamer so The team wins a thriller in Philly on Trot Nixon's grand slam. The Orioles fall to against the A's after being swept by the Mariners. We have lost our minds. Everyone is piling on. That's right, burn all your possessions, lest the ex-wife get them in the settlement. Scorch the earth. Everyone needs to calm down and accept a few facts: Maybe every single Red Sox fan would bounce back more quickly from a high fever and a sore throat and be back on the job the next day. I'm sure the hardhats on the Big Dig are furious at Manny and Pedro for being overpaid, budget-busting malingerers. Manny should have pinch hit on Monday. He should have made his doctor's appointment, though why Dr. Morgan wasn't going to the hotel in the first place is beyond me. He should have stayed in his room Saturday night. But none of that changes the fact that the man had a nasty bug and deserved a little slack. Not as much as he took, maybe, but a little. He may wander off the bag without calling time. He may forget the number of outs and get doubled off. He may throw to the wrong base, or, sometimes, no base at all. But the dude can rake. We need to understand that it doesn't matter if Manny misses a week because he's sick or misses a week to go chase butterflies. If the guy plays in games, he improves your chances of winning considerably. Should there be a double-standard for Manny? Only if you seriously want to win a championship. A word about songwriting here. In this case, the woman seems to have now taken to the streets to ask anyone she encounters where her man has gone, and why he left her. The first is a legitimate question — that is, when your talking about cats, dogs, snakes, rabbits, hamsters, etc. What do you do, you hang notices on mailboxes, trees, and light posts, right? I mean, what does she expect total strangers to tell her? How the heck are they supposed to know why some guy left her? This makes absolutely no sense to me — much like this song. So there you have it. Bottom line here — the woman is nuts, which is why the guy probably never asked her for a key to begin with, and dude only came over when he was hungry for breakfast and whatever else was on the menu, if you know what I mean…. Hopefully, this post will take care of this dumb song rattling around in my brain and allow me to get on with the rest of my life, starting with breakfast tomorrow …. From virtually Day 1 upon your entry into the national spotlight, you strived to carve out a reputation of being smart, savvy, and, most importantly, your own woman. After all, it was him that gave you the opportunity to step out on your own with that cockamamie national health insurance study group , and him who gave you the necessary cover when you screwed that thing up to no end. Before the U. The Tar Pit stating that Saddam Hussein and his regime had to go. And, as your eyes on that presidential prize grew ever bigger, you doggedly held on to the center, even as a slow trickle of Democrats opposing the war turned into a deluge. After all, to keep as many potential voters in play, you felt you had to keep all your options open. And you got too careful; tried to play it too safe. Which, BTW, is something you simply cannot afford to let happen, since your margin for error is already mighty slim, given your horrendous disapproval numbers. Evacuate the center and tack back to the left? And then some. Scorch the earth. Everyone needs to calm down and accept a few facts: Maybe every single Red Sox fan would bounce back more quickly from a high fever and a sore throat and be back on the job the next day. I'm sure the hardhats on the Big Dig are furious at Manny and Pedro for being overpaid, budget-busting malingerers. Manny should have pinch hit on Monday. He should have made his doctor's appointment, though why Dr. Morgan wasn't going to the hotel in the first place is beyond me. He should have stayed in his room Saturday night. But none of that changes the fact that the man had a nasty bug and deserved a little slack. Not as much as he took, maybe, but a little. He may wander off the bag without calling time. He may forget the number of outs and get doubled off. He may throw to the wrong base, or, sometimes, no base at all. But the dude can rake. We need to understand that it doesn't matter if Manny misses a week because he's sick or misses a week to go chase butterflies. If the guy plays in games, he improves your chances of winning considerably. Should there be a double-standard for Manny? Only if you seriously want to win a championship. If this is too much for Johnny Damon to bear, he can take his mediocre OBP and his thalidomide throwing arm somewhere else. Strict Freudians, of course, believe all behavior can be traced back to the mother. Milk was scarce in Santo Domingo so Manny was weaned late. Who among us wouldn't hold the bottle and cradle the back of his head if it could guarantee a 3-for-4 with a pair of RBIs? I say, we accept that Manny is occasionally lazy, sometimes stupid and always goofy, then praise the heavens that none of those things have very much to do with hitting a baseball. Eyes on the prize, eyes on the prize. The Bad and the Ugly. Last night's loss to the Blue Jays was a three-hour-andminute desecration of everything that is holy and sacred about baseball. How could so much ugly exist in one game? How could one horrible loss be made up of so many awful, nauseating moments? Atrocious umpiring, inept baserunning, spastic fielding, unconscionable basecoaching, daft managing There were, of course, plenty of physical mistakes, many of them served up by that tag-team duo of Sauerback and Williamson. From vaunted to haunted, these two acquisitions have been spectacularly bad. Sauerback 5. It's hard to believe how awful these guys have been. I suspect neither has ever had a stretch like this in his career. Nice timing, fellas. But the killer for me, natch, is the raft of mental mistakes the team made. Bill Mueller getting doubled off second to squelch the fourth-inning rally on a routine liner to Orlando Hudson was at least uncharacteristic. He clearly got a bad read on the ball, thought it was hit harder than it was and was thinking about scoring. But in that situation - with Manny Ramirez on deck - he has to "see the line drive through. But it was the play before that that really infuriated me. Blue Jays starter Mark Hendrickson had allowed seven consecutive batters to reach base when Todd Walker came to the plate with runners on first and second and no one out. The guy simply could not get an out. So what do we do? We bunt the ball right back to him in a moment of tender mercy but terrible baseball. How long has Moneyball been in stores? How long has Bill James been publishing? Do we need more data on the sagacity of the fourth-inning sacrifice bunt in a slugfest with a pitcher on the ropes? Why would you ever hand that guy one of the three outs he needs to survive the inning? I don't know which rocket scientist decided to bunt - Walker or Grady Little - but it was a terrible play and a terrible bunt and plain stupid. Editor's note: Walker was the rocket scientist. That said, Walker outdid himself in the seventh when he broke into his Cadillac trot on a ball that - surprise! Jays skipper Carlos Tosca and I both think Walker got thrown out at second despite his desperate post-jog dash. The question is, How can a guy who hasn't hit a home run in a plate appearances be so sure a ball is gone? And what is the danger of running hard until you see the ump signal home run? Not looking cool? In the name of Timo Perez see World Series , why not run hard? Trust me, Todd, nothing could be as embarrassing as your defense, not even your. Tell me again how this guy helps your team. But the absolutely most unforgivable decision of the night was made by Mike Cubbage, who once again proved he has no idea what he's doing as our third base coach. Trailing with runners on first and second and nobody out, Cubby sent Manny Ramirez on Doug Mirabelli's soft liner to center. Thankfully, Vernon Wells, too, was momentarily stunned by Cubbage's fundamental lack of understanding of how the bases should be run in certain situations. Manny made a deft slide, swiping his hand across the back of the plate as Greg Myers just missed him with a sweep tag. But how, oh how, can you send Manny there, down by six runs with nobody out? Go ahead, make the argument. Just because we got away with it, doesn't mean it was the right thing to do. If anything this will embolden Cubbage to make similarly bad decisions. Can you imagine if Wells comes up throwing right away? Manny gets gunned down at home plate - breaks a finger? Cubby, please, I'm begging you. If there's nobody out - never mind the huge deficit - that guy has got to be able to score standing for you to send him. In a season that has had this team's limited baseball I. You can't always throw your curveball for a strike. You can't always hit a slider. But you can always make your first step back to the bag on a line drive with less then two out. You can always run hard until you're sure the ball has left the park. You can always know the number of outs there are a bunch of guys obligated to tell you if you're not sure. The prospect of missing the playoffs for failing to follow these simple tenets of baseball is like losing a golf major for signing the wrong scorecard. It just cannot happen. Dear Orioles: Thanks for Nothing. Remember those pesky Orioles who took five of seven from the Sox over two weekends, including three of four in Fenway? The team that made every play, every pitch and got every clutch hit? The team that was destined to blow past Toronto and disrupt the six years running finish of the AL East? One week later, you wouldn't recognize them. All the O's have done since leaving their hearts and bats in Boston is get swept by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and lose the first three games of a four-game series to the Yankees despite leading in the seventh inning or later of all three games. Last night's loss established a new low of laying down for the Yankees. One night after Jorge Julio blew a ninth-inning lead by getting torched for four runs - three courtesy a home run by Aaron. I mean, this was something out of the World Series. Only nothing this egregious happened in the World Series. The O's were between five and 10 feet from tying the score in the bottom of the 12th inning when Jack Cust - an adult male who makes his living as a professional athlete - fell flat on his face, allowing Boone to tag him as he lay supine for the game's final out. This replay has to be seen to be believed. The Yankees had botched a rundown so completely that Cust was running home and no one was covering the plate. All he had to do was, well, not fall down. This isn't Zola Budd and Mary Decker getting tangled up. This isn't Kevin Dyson getting tackled on the one-yard line. This is a pro baseball player with nothing between him and the plate but humidity who simply fell down. When last we saw Jack Cust, he was adding his name to the long list of American Leaguers who have extra base hits off Jeff Suppan since his return to the Sox. The list: As incomprehensible as this sounds, Jeff Suppan has given up 15 extra-base hits in 16 and a third innings since we threw away next season's starting second baseman for him. Cust ripped two of those extra-base hits off Suppan - and homered off Mariano Rivera last night to make it interesting. True, the O's sure have found interesting ways to lose to the Yankees. None more interesting than last night. Do you remember the woman who collapsed in the L. Coliseum at the end of the marathon at the '84 Olympics? Her body was failing, she became incontinent, totally disoriented and had to fight through a series of full-body seizures to drag herself across the finish line. That's what Cust looked like, except that he had run less than feet and didn't make it to the finish line. The loss dropped Mike Hargrove to all-time against Joe Torre. Thanks for nothing, Orioles. At the very least George Steinbrenner should send you some fine wine this offseason, since your Jeckyll and Hyde act against us and them will be the difference in the AL East. While it's true I live in the densely populated Chicken Little section of Red Sox Nation, I don't think it's hysteria to say the sky is falling - or has fallen - after losing five of seven games to the still-below-. I won't break out the C-word because I don't think this bad patch has any real element of choking to it. Striking out on a Jorge Julio dive bomb one pitch after he's just hit on the radar gun is not choking. Giving up hits to legit studs Luis Matos and Jay Gibbons is not choking. And running the bases with your head buried in your posterior is not choking, though it is inexplicably idiotic and totally unforgivable. The most glaring revelation during these games has been the rather dire state of our pitching. In Derek Lowe's last two starts the Orioles have finished with 11 and 10 runs, respectively. Some people are saying that Lowe has reverted to his form when he was driven from the closer role by a series of game-losing home runs Paul O'Neill's and Joe Randa's come immediately to mind. But the fact is Derek Lowe has never been hit like this with the Red Sox. His ERA in was 3. Even in his woeful rookie season for the Mariners when he posted a 6. This means that in an average nine-inning start Lowe would allow Do these numbers explain the long face or does the long face explain these numbers? While his pouting is hard to watch, Sir Sulk's mound demeanor is less worrisome than the simple fact that his command has been awful. His strikes look like strikes and his balls look like balls. His slump may be a mystery, his pitches are not. Meet the new Jeff Suppan, same as the old Jeff Suppan. Ever wonder how a pitcher could give up home runs over four seasons pitching in a big yard like Kansas City? Now you know. What is his out pitch? When he has a guy on his hip , what is he going to put him away with? He'll just start nibbling. Welcome back, Mike Torrez. He's just another journeyman starter who never makes a guy take an uncomfortable swing or an emergency hack. And the worse part is that he is a classic non-Bill James guy with terrible lifetime strikeout-to-walk numbers. From , in appearances starts with the Royals, he struck out and walked , a bright red flag in even the most basic Bill James analysis. Oh, and by the way, we don't have a second baseman for next season. And don't have much of one for the stretch drive this year either. Despite his remarkable Faustian run over his last 10 starts, does anybody really have any confidence in John Burkett? Aren't we all waiting for the other shoe to drop? And by shoe, I mean eight runs in an inning and a third. Thank goodness he's turned it around or we wouldn't still be clinging to one-game lead in the Wild Card, but he's scheduled to match up against Barry Zito on Tuesday in Oakland. I'm guessing Vegas will have that at right about Although the presiding American bishop, Katharine Jefferts Schori, agreed to the arrangement, some conservatives described it as an extraordinary check on her authority. It called on the House of Bishops to adopt an explicit ban against blessings of same-sex unions and to make clear that clergy in homosexual relationships cannot be confirmed as bishops. For years, the Western Churches within the Communion the Church of England, the Anglican Church of Canada, and TEC have used their affluence and traditional positions of power to impose their wills and their progressive, post-modern agenda upon the churches of the Global South, even as they themselves were suffering significant declines in membership and their African and Asian counterparts were experiencing explosive growth through the teaching of traditional Christianity, oftentimes at their own peril due to the equally-explosive growth of fundamental Islam. But with the issuance of the Dar es Salaam communique, all that has changed, for the leaders of the Global South have parlayed the growth of their churches and their power and influence within the Communion to draw a line in the sand — a line that will ultimately force TEC to choose whether its future lies as part of the Anglican Communion, or in some other arrangement. And in my view, this is both a good and necessary thing. The Primates will no longer discuss the rightness or wrongness of homosexuality. It is done. The big question now is, how will the Episcopal Church respond? It is interesting to note that whenever Dr. Why did she add this fact? Will she? Time will tell. A move like this would be a huge mistake on the part of the Episcopal Church, I believe, for if it were to choose such a strategy, the floodgates would be opened and TEC would lose untold numbers of parishioners and churches, perhaps even dioceses. The result would be a radical realignment of the Church forced by the loss of both numbers and dollars — a situation that would have the resulting effect of reducing the power and influence of its bishops, something I find hard to believe the boys and girls in purple would ever let happen. The Episcopal Church of today reminds me of one of those huge snowpiles created over the course of a winter in some supermarket or mall parking lot. Having compassion for someone three decades younger than myself! For whatever reason, she really liked that phrase, and, before I could tell her what kind of nonsense it was, said it was something she would think about and keep in mind. I need the warmth of your smile To heat my frostbitten sorrow I need your hand on my shoulder To lead todays to tomorrows I need your strength to lock me to the track I need your trust to bust the things I lack. I just always thought it was a good tune. The song, written by that killer songwriting duo of Hal David and Burt Bachrach , who, while especially writing for Dionne Warwick , had a number of fine works they could take credit for — unfortunately, this was not one of them. The mere fact that everyone knows the answer to this question, that the question itself is rhetorical, is indicative of the depth of this problem. Yes, Nomar Garciaparra's 9-for Including his lunging, flailing strikeout on a pitch in the dirt and a foot outside in the seventh, Nomar made three outs on six pitches for an average of 2. He was also hit by a pitch, which, to his credit, he didn't swing at. The rest of the team forced Zambrano to make an average of almost seven pitches per out. With a little help from Nomar, mission accomplished. Sure, a Bill Mueller or a David Ortiz might battle you, but you can always look forward to that respite when Nomar comes up. He may get a base hit or a double off the wall, but he will not fight you tooth and nail or participate in 21st century baseball's war of attrition. You don't have to ask Nomar if he's read Moneyball to know that he flatly rejects Billy Beane's and Theo's perhaps organization-wide edict to see a lot of pitches. On Tuesday night, he drew two walks, allowing me to dream that he had had some kind of epiphany. His early career trajectory seemed to suggest a player who might one day draw walks as he went from the low 30s to 51 in to a career-high 61 in But then came the split longitudinal tendon and a return to the reckless, free-swinging days of his youth. Last year he walked only 41 times in almost plate appearances. This season he has walked 37 times, again in almost plate appearances. He has swung at more first pitches than any batter in the Majors. Now Nomar will argue, "Hey man, I'm hitting. Trot Nixon. This is because they do so judiciously. If Nomar swung at fewer first pitches - which are almost never cookies given his reputation - his first-pitch BA would rise too, right along with his OBP. Nomar has had an incredible season. His defense has never been better. His baserunning has won games. And, until his recent three-week slide, he was a legitimate MVP candidate. But you simply cannot approach Victor Zambrano the same way you'd approach Bob Tewksbury, who walked a guy every other month. You don't beat a guy like Zambrano by being aggressive. You beat him by being patient. But Nomar, as you've noticed, does things his way. And he's given every indication that he'd probably prefer to play in a city where rabid jackasses like me aren't charting the pitch counts of his at-bats. A city where no one would notice that he's become a dead pull hitter who never stays back on the ball and never hits with authority to right like he used to all the time. A city where he could fly off the ball and pop up to the right side for the th time and be greeted by a collective yawn on his way back to the dugout. A city where people believe there is something more important than baseball. I live in that city. And if Nomar wants to be a. But here goes. Eyes on the prize, people, eyes on the prize. I know it's hard to stay focused when you're waking up in the middle of the night with hot flashes of hatred for the defending AL batting champ who hit home runs for the Red Sox in fewer at-bats than Ted Williams we hated him, too, apparently , Jimmie Foxx or Jim Rice. You can make the personal decision that you'd rather see Manny Ramirez punished than see the Red Sox win a World Series, but don't delude yourself into thinking that the team can "cowboy up" and win this thing without him. Me, I don't care if the players respect Grady Little. I don't care if Johnny Damon's righteousness has been offended by his teammate's fecklessness. I don't care about sober interludes with Enrique Wilson. I care about one thing. See if you can guess what it is. We all knew what we were getting with Manny Ramirez. We saw those stats with the Indians, salivated and agreed to look past all the reports out of Cleveland that he would drive us crazy. In fact, if you remember, part of the reason the Tribe front office wasn't broken-hearted to see him go was that Manny missed 44 games his last year on Lake Erie with a hamstring injury that no one else thought was bad enough to keep him sidelined. So now, in his third spectacular season in Boston, he misses four games with Pharyngitis - and is benched for a fifth - and the guy becomes Public Enemy No. It's as if he didn't run out a one-hopper back to the mound. Mon Dieu! Blame Manny! Tim Wakefield hits Nick Johnson with an pitch then walks Jason Giambi after being ahead in the disastrous first inning of an loss. But Wakefield is a gamer so The team wins a thriller in Philly on Trot Nixon's grand slam. The Orioles fall to against the A's after being swept by the Mariners. We have lost our minds. Everyone is piling on. That's right, burn all your possessions, lest the ex-wife get them in the settlement. Scorch the earth. Everyone needs to calm down and accept a few facts: Maybe every single Red Sox fan would bounce back more quickly from a high fever and a sore throat and be back on the job the next day. I'm sure the hardhats on the Big Dig are furious at Manny and Pedro for being overpaid, budget-busting malingerers. Manny should have pinch hit on Monday. He should have made his doctor's appointment, though why Dr. Morgan wasn't going to the hotel in the first place is beyond me. He should have stayed in his room Saturday night. But none of that changes the fact that the man had a nasty bug and deserved a little slack. Not as much as he took, maybe, but a little. He may wander off the bag without calling time. He may forget the number of outs and get doubled off. He may throw to the wrong base, or, sometimes, no base at all. But the dude can rake. We need to understand that it doesn't matter if Manny misses a week because he's sick or misses a week to go chase butterflies. If the guy plays in games, he improves your chances of winning considerably. Should there be a double-standard for Manny? Only if you seriously want to win a championship. If this is too much for Johnny Damon to bear, he can take his mediocre OBP and his thalidomide throwing arm somewhere else. Strict Freudians, of course, believe all behavior can be traced back to the mother. Milk was scarce in Santo Domingo so Manny was weaned late. Who among us wouldn't hold the bottle and cradle the back of his head if it could guarantee a 3-for-4 with a pair of RBIs? I say, we accept that Manny is occasionally lazy, sometimes stupid and always goofy, then praise the heavens that none of those things have very much to do with hitting a baseball. Eyes on the prize, eyes on the prize. The Bad and the Ugly. Last night's loss to the Blue Jays was a three-hour-andminute desecration of everything that is holy and sacred about baseball. How could so much ugly exist in one game? How could one horrible loss be made up of so many awful, nauseating moments? Atrocious umpiring, inept baserunning, spastic fielding, unconscionable basecoaching, daft managing There were, of course, plenty of physical mistakes, many of them served up by that tag-team duo of Sauerback and Williamson. From vaunted to haunted, these two acquisitions have been spectacularly bad. Sauerback 5. It's hard to believe how awful these guys have been. I suspect neither has ever had a stretch like this in his career. Nice timing, fellas. But the killer for me, natch, is the raft of mental mistakes the team made. Bill Mueller getting doubled off second to squelch the fourth-inning rally on a routine liner to Orlando Hudson was at least uncharacteristic. He clearly got a bad read on the ball, thought it was hit harder than it was and was thinking about scoring. But in that situation - with Manny Ramirez on deck - he has to "see the line drive through. But it was the play before that that really infuriated me. Blue Jays starter Mark Hendrickson had allowed seven consecutive batters to reach base when Todd Walker came to the plate with runners on first and second and no one out. The guy simply could not get an out. So what do we do? We bunt the ball right back to him in a moment of tender mercy but terrible baseball. How long has Moneyball been in stores? How long has Bill James been publishing? Do we need more data on the sagacity of the fourth-inning sacrifice bunt in a slugfest with a pitcher on the ropes? Why would you ever hand that guy one of the three outs he needs to survive the inning? I don't know which rocket scientist decided to bunt - Walker or Grady Little - but it was a terrible play and a terrible bunt and plain stupid. Editor's note: Walker was the rocket scientist. That said, Walker outdid himself in the seventh when he broke into his Cadillac trot on a ball that - surprise! Jays skipper Carlos Tosca and I both think Walker got thrown out at second despite his desperate post-jog dash. The question is, How can a guy who hasn't hit a home run in a plate appearances be so sure a ball is gone? And what is the danger of running hard until you see the ump signal home run? Not looking cool? In the name of Timo Perez see World Series , why not run hard? Trust me, Todd, nothing could be as embarrassing as your defense, not even your. Tell me again how this guy helps your team. But the absolutely most unforgivable decision of the night was made by Mike Cubbage, who once again proved he has no idea what he's doing as our third base coach. Trailing with runners on first and second and nobody out, Cubby sent Manny Ramirez on Doug Mirabelli's soft liner to center. Thankfully, Vernon Wells, too, was momentarily stunned by Cubbage's fundamental lack of understanding of how the bases should be run in certain situations. Manny made a deft slide, swiping his hand across the back of the plate as Greg Myers just missed him with a sweep tag. But how, oh how, can you send Manny there, down by six runs with nobody out? Go ahead, make the argument. Just because we got away with it, doesn't mean it was the right thing to do. If anything this will embolden Cubbage to make similarly bad decisions. Can you imagine if Wells comes up throwing right away? Manny gets gunned down at home plate - breaks a finger? Cubby, please, I'm begging you. If there's nobody out - never mind the huge deficit - that guy has got to be able to score standing for you to send him. In a season that has had this team's limited baseball I. You can't always throw your curveball for a strike. You can't always hit a slider. But you can always make your first step back to the bag on a line drive with less then two out. You can always run hard until you're sure the ball has left the park. You can always know the number of outs there are a bunch of guys obligated to tell you if you're not sure. The prospect of missing the playoffs for failing to follow these simple tenets of baseball is like losing a golf major for signing the wrong scorecard. It just cannot happen. Dear Orioles: Thanks for Nothing. Remember those pesky Orioles who took five of seven from the Sox over two weekends, including three of four in Fenway? The team that made every play, every pitch and got every clutch hit? The team that was destined to blow past Toronto and disrupt the six years running finish of the AL East? One week later, you wouldn't recognize them. All the O's have done since leaving their hearts and bats in Boston is get swept by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and lose the first three games of a four-game series to the Yankees despite leading in the seventh inning or later of all three games. Last night's loss established a new low of laying down for the Yankees. Men's Basketball Front Page. Messsage Boards. Women's Basketball Front Page. College Sports Front Page. Hockey Scoreboard. Golf Front Page. Money Leaders. Champions League. World Cup Tennis Front Page. Daily Results. Message Board. Page 2 Front Page. Bill Simmons. SportsNation Front Page. Voice of the Fan. Insider Front Page. MLB Insider. And number 38 gives better sound bites than the slickest of willies, " On the rare occasion when Pedro might get a loss, it's my job to come back and get a win. On any good staff, there's guys to do that. You worried about The Passion of the Damon? The first shall be last and the last first. Yes, let he who has never gone oh-for cast the first stone. So I'm thinking more and more about this Jello wrestling with Wonkette and Catalano …. What a joy it is to be alive! To wake late in the morning and have cups and cups of coffee, and in the heightened blind pulse that follows to imagine hot blog babes in jello. Ah, yes. I'll add that to my hairy palm collection, but it'd be easier to get John Ashcroft in a teddy than getting Ms. Yeah, unless she loses another bet … Heh heh. I'd pay top dollar to see Wonkette and Catalano in catfight with jello and bikinis. Doubt it, dude. That'd be too good to be true. Wonkette's too cool to respond to such a mundane email. I'd need to write something like this: I can also turn furniture upside down if it isn't too heavy. The fucking point is clear: I may not be an individual, but I'm still a force to be reckoned with. Forget this, and my bloody head will be all over you fucking upside down furniture. Chicks love the "I'm totally fucking insane" angle. They don't call me the "Green Monster" for nothing! Hey, I emailed Wonkette on her baseball loyalties. In a heartbeat. The Wonkette is all class … well, when she's not talking about ass-fucking that is. So what's the verdict? Is she the stuff of my Red Sox wet dreams? Verbatim from her email reply: I'd sooner vote for Bush than cheer for their raggedy pinstriped asses. As much as I hate the Yankees, and as much sympathy as I have for the Sox. I am a Cubs fan. Long suffering, loyal, disappointed. This is the year, amc". I was gonna guess she was for the Cubbies. That's cool. We are like kissing cousins, us and the Cubs fans. Hey, Curt motherfucking Schilling is in the house near the house where Ruth was born but he didn't build. Any chance of sneaking outta here early to catch it at the Cask? Let me see what I can do. Ol' man Scrivener still has his tighty whities all bunching up his ass, so no promises. You see this interview with Stout over at Red Sox Nation dot net? Stout's nails the owners by pointing out how front offices salaries, which they totally control, have escalated in line with player salaries. Hmm … I guess I've never thought of that. That ain't the half of it. According to Stout, "Larry Lucchino reportedly makes in the mid- seven figures annually, and many GMs are above the million mark. Who would you rather have? I want Lucchino! Yeah, who wants the best player in baseball when you can have a redundant executive? Yeah, read the whole thing. Stout isn't what you'd call enamored of the troika over on Yawkey Way. Earlier, the Red Sox open the '04 season with a loss to the Orioles …. Martone is tough on Pedro this morning. Pedro hasn't won an Opening Day start in, like, forever. Still, I'm not really happy with the nine baserunners in six innings or the fastball peaking at I see Belth has an interview with your boyfriend Bill James. Good to hear not all S. R dudes are anti-Varitek. Never quite understood that either. Well, not his health or pitching ability so much as fan perception …. Scene from a church: And let us pray for the quick recovery of Nomar Garciaparra and Trot Nixon. And my God grant Keith Foulke a return to last season's dominant form considering his lackluster Spring. An angry boss and lower than expected earnings has some of the Soxaholix at the office on a Saturday …. Mike, if you crank on that report for Scrivener, we may be able to get out here by one. I'm on it like a mother-ah P. First round's on me. I'll buzz the rest of the crew. You know me, I'm the Grady Little of management and human resources. What are ya doin' listening to the radio when you've got that report to write? Dude, we've been through this before. Don't yank on my work style. I do what I gotta do. Yeah, yeah, whatevs. Don't shit in your pants … What's the Boy Wonder saying? Trot is ahead of schedule and feeling great. The program they have him on in Miami will not only fix this recent injury, it will also help to prevent him from re-injuring his back in the future. He's made some good throws so far today … Nomar has begun to respond to treatment. He will continue to rest. And, Pedro feels strong and is great, and Theo saw Pedro throw on the side a couple of days ago and he had the best fastball he's had all spring. Theo said he's not worried about Pedro or his health one bit..

For the first five innings Aaron Sele was throwing Red sox boob flash keith foulkes than he was. He needed a spectacular catch from Johnny Https://webcam.ad-global.london/pub12246-xyjero.php on a drive to the wall in left center in the seventh and was twice taken high off the monster by David Eckstein.

One aborted start later and Petey confirmed that he'd gotten hurt in the Angels came. Still waiting more info the apology, Bawb.

I'm not saying he's hurt now, but he has definitely been in a funk, where he is forced to battle for every out. These funks are often followed by a trip to the DL, which is much more calamitous than a trip to the DR though perhaps not in all quarters of Red Sox Nation.

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Sveum Old Song and Dance. Despite salvaging the last two games, this road trip raised several concerns Red sox boob flash keith foulkes the Red Sox.

Is Pedro Martinez even a reliable No. Can the bridge to Keith Foulke hold up without Scott Williamson? Is Cesar Crespo really in the Major Leagues? But the biggest bummer about the trip for me was the revelation that once again the Red sox boob flash keith foulkes has gone out and found a guy who cannot coach third base.

By pretty much any measure Dale Sveum was an awful big leaguer. He finished his read more career with a.

In 11 Red sox boob flash keith foulkes his 12 seasons he earned a negative total player rating Pete Palmer and John Thorn's statistical rendering of a player's overall contributions to his team. He was also a terrible defensive player who didn't get to that many balls but booted more than his share a.

But none of that concerns me because, well, he never played for the Red Sox. He does, sadly, coach third base for Red sox boob flash keith foulkes Red Sox, a perpetual problem spot for the team. Between Wendell Kim's chronic rally killing and Mike Cubbage's all-time boner on which he not only got Manny thrown out at home with nobody out but also injured, you would think the brain trust, which does such an outstanding job acquiring impact players, might be able to find a guy who understands the fundamental tenets of coaching third.

Here's a little primer for coaching third. At all times you must be aware of five things as you anticipate either sending a runner or holding a runner: With that in mind, let's take a look at Sveum's week. In the third inning of the opening game of the trip we had an event so revelatory that the two mistakes that Red sox boob flash keith foulkes only confirmed what had to be true.

With Manny Ramirez on second and one out Kevin Millar lined a single to left. Okay, so the play is right in front of Sveum. As soon as the ball is hit, I know Ramirez can't score. The ball was hit too hard, Manny isn't fast and Jose Guillen has the best arm of any leftfielder in baseball. But to my horror Sveum had the windmill going. And going and going. Then a funny thing happened. Manny stopped at third. As if to say, "Dale, are you out of your mind?

Sexaholics Anonymous Watch Video Pool sexparty. Chances are the makeup game, or games if this weather continues as predicted, will occur after Trot and Nomar return. Did you see where the Orioles are going to be fined and possibly have to forfeit a game because of an illegal roster move? And they can't recall anyone to replace Bedard on the roster until Wednesday. Not debilitating, still, you want a full roster in case anything strange happens, like a 13 inning game. Elsewhere in the office, Mike tracks down the new designer, Susan, who has asked that everyone call her 'Circle' …. Still waiting. But you waited yesterday. The SysOps guy should be here. He didn't say for sure he'd come. But said I should wait here. You're merciless. To My Mac? Tied to the Mac! What an idea! No question of it. For the moment. Right, then. So we wait. Continue reading "Nothing you can do about it. Amazing how we can go through the entire hot stove season without baseball, but once the season starts, an off day … well, how's your head? Today there was a dog in the road. He just stood there looking at the oncoming cars. I thought he might bark, but no. He just looked. I felt such a comradery. Myself and this dog, standing our ground in the midst of a brutal foreign routine …. Even SoSH has been quiet. Yes, the big excitement was reading mother fucking Yankees fan Michele go all petulant on our asses. Seen the forecast? Rain, rain, rain. Motherfuck everything but the weather. Let weather come through and through and through. Hey, if Mickelson can get that monkey off his back …. Mickelson mocks the naysayers with his monkey pants … And netted me a pair of sawbucks from the dudes in shipping. Fer crissakes you're not betting with the Salvadorans in shipping again after what happened last time? Er … Just a little bit. And who can bemoan learning how to make and serve pupusas to a hungry band of Salvadorans? True dat. Sandinista , baby. Hey, you talked to the new designer yet? Yeah, she's cool. Big time Sox fan. No, Susan, the new pixel chick … Who the hell is Circle? Susan is Circle. See, quote Susan is her quote governement name as she explains it. Kinda cool, really. Fucking Risdee grad whackos. Ol' man Scrivener's going to love that. I'm probably going to get stuck updating the employee handbook regarding goverment names. David Walkoff Ortiz! I get the chills thinking about that monster blast to end the game. Ortiz makes me feel better than a Demerol breakfast and lots of coffee. I feel good. The way a log in a fire sometimes looks like it must feel good, like it's gotten once and for all past its resistance to the force that means to make it submit to its own physical fact. What do we have here in Malaska? Nice tight spin, big break and right on target well, maybe just a little inside of where he probably wanted it. The look of disbelief on Catalanotto's face was priceless. That-that guy struck me out? Maybe Malaska is what we thought we were getting in Sauerbeck last year? That's why I'm hoping, anyway. Another minion under the thriving banks of fluorescence. Hope she's better than that chick Instawingnut is always shilling. Yeah, "design goddess" but every design looks almost the same … and the notebook spiral background, oh, how cutting edge! Yeah, but have you seen his wife? She's effin' hot! Yeah, if I was with her you'd be calling me the "Insta-Done-It". Another Saturday finds Bill and several of his team at work, trying to appease the taskmaster boss Scrivener and reconcile yesterday afternoon's loss to Toronto …. Why re-call a reliever who is a 1-inning guy? I don't think sending Malaska back out for more batters would be risky. That may be the role that best suits Malaska but he has been a starter in the past. While he isn't stretched out, i don't see him going a second inning to be Heartbreak Hill. OK, wise one, back to your Hiding Place. The Soxaholix eagerly anticipate the 3pm Fenway home opener against Toronto …. Tara, what's the numbers on the Jays? Bill, for all the talk last night about the Red Sox offense being inept , when compared to the Toronto line there's no contest. The only guy we'll see that pitched in the Tigers series is Roy Halladay, and he gave up 6 earned in 6. Historically, the Red Sox have hit Halladay well. Their bullpen has only given up one run, a home run given up by Terry Adams. Pinto really likes Lilly. Lilly career at Fenway: I don't believe that counts his postseason start, though. Sox get all the breaks but leave bags loaded in the 7th and 11!? I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself king of infinite space. I ought to give up baseball and become a rodeo fan, specifically bull riding. Three o'clock'll be time to get back on the bull like any good "buckle bunnie. Hell yeah it is! TV on one of unused PCs. You seen the predictions at Baseball Prospectus? What's Will Carroll predict? Let me call, Tara. I need a break from Doug and his Wonkette obsession. Will Carroll is the man. But Who is Jonah Keri and what has he been smoking? Just Goodboys having some fun…. Thanks, Jackrabbit! Almost worth making the drive back to Vegas all by itself. Gay Eclipse Rum — 1 oz. Note 2 — For a slight different taste and a very pretty color, change the Orange Curacao to Blue Curacao and watch it go green! I always liked Keith Foulke, though he was never really cut out for playing under the media microscope that is Boston. All the guy ever wanted to do was pitch, but somehow that was never enough for the whiny girly-girls that make up the majority of the Boston sports media, and at least I hope the minority of Red Sox fans. Foulke lost some stature in the eyes of fans because of several flare-ups in Boston over the past two seasons. Rather than just let slide a comment made obviously out of frustration and anger by a struggling pitcher, the Dan Shaughnessy s and Tony Massarotti s of the world, who love to sit on their high thrones just waiting for a Boston athlete to say something they can use to generate negative headlines and stories, pounced, utimately forcing Foulke to issue an apology — something that never should have been necessary. Sure, had his up and down stretches during the year that would either have you pumping your fist in the air in exultation, or heading for that secret spot where your wife thought she had sufficiently hid the Cuervo Gold. But, by and large, Foulke served the purpose for which Theo Epstein signed him during those dreary Grady Little, post Yankee series meltdown days in the winter of So best of luck to you in the future Keith, and thanks. Those nattering nabobs of negativity in the Boston media may not have liked you, but to me, you were always OK. You did the job you were brought here for — to help bring us long-suffering Red Sox fans a world championship and a season we will never forget. And for that, I will always be grateful. But, since every blogger from time to time welcomes a compliment or two about his or her work, and since The Great White Shank is not above shilling for compliments, here are some of the spammy accolades that have poured in recently to Goodboys Nation weblog: Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at A Quiet Disintegration. Celebrity Stupor. A Line in the Sand. One Less Bell to Answer. OK, here we go: Somebody tell me please — Where did he go? Why did he go? Tell me, how could he leave me? A word about songwriting here. In this case, the woman seems to have now taken to the streets to ask anyone she encounters where her man has gone, and why he left her. The first is a legitimate question — that is, when your talking about cats, dogs, snakes, rabbits, hamsters, etc. What do you do, you hang notices on mailboxes, trees, and light posts, right? I mean, what does she expect total strangers to tell her? How the heck are they supposed to know why some guy left her? This makes absolutely no sense to me — much like this song. So there you have it. Bottom line here — the woman is nuts, which is why the guy probably never asked her for a key to begin with, and dude only came over when he was hungry for breakfast and whatever else was on the menu, if you know what I mean…. Hopefully, this post will take care of this dumb song rattling around in my brain and allow me to get on with the rest of my life, starting with breakfast tomorrow …. From virtually Day 1 upon your entry into the national spotlight, you strived to carve out a reputation of being smart, savvy, and, most importantly, your own woman. After all, it was him that gave you the opportunity to step out on your own with that cockamamie national health insurance study group , and him who gave you the necessary cover when you screwed that thing up to no end. Before the U. The Tar Pit stating that Saddam Hussein and his regime had to go. And, as your eyes on that presidential prize grew ever bigger, you doggedly held on to the center, even as a slow trickle of Democrats opposing the war turned into a deluge. After all, to keep as many potential voters in play, you felt you had to keep all your options open. And you got too careful; tried to play it too safe. Which, BTW, is something you simply cannot afford to let happen, since your margin for error is already mighty slim, given your horrendous disapproval numbers. Evacuate the center and tack back to the left? 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Copyright Act. Photographic images posted with permission of Associated Press unless otherwise indicated. Sveum Old Song and Dance. Despite salvaging the last two games, this road trip raised several concerns for the Red Sox. Is Pedro Martinez even a reliable No. Can the bridge to Keith Foulke hold up without Scott Williamson? Is Cesar Crespo really in the Major Leagues? But the biggest bummer about the trip for me was the revelation that once again the team has gone out and found a guy who cannot coach third base. By pretty much any measure Dale Sveum was an awful big leaguer. He finished his journeyman career with a. In 11 of his 12 seasons he earned a negative total player rating Pete Palmer and John Thorn's statistical rendering of a player's overall contributions to his team. He was also a terrible defensive player who didn't get to that many balls but booted more than his share a. But none of that concerns me because, well, he never played for the Red Sox. He does, sadly, coach third base for the Red Sox, a perpetual problem spot for the team. Between Wendell Kim's chronic rally killing and Mike Cubbage's all-time boner on which he not only got Manny thrown out at home with nobody out but also injured, you would think the brain trust, which does such an outstanding job acquiring impact players, might be able to find a guy who understands the fundamental tenets of coaching third. Here's a little primer for coaching third. At all times you must be aware of five things as you anticipate either sending a runner or holding a runner: With that in mind, let's take a look at Sveum's week. In the third inning of the opening game of the trip we had an event so revelatory that the two mistakes that followed only confirmed what had to be true. With Manny Ramirez on second and one out Kevin Millar lined a single to left. Okay, so the play is right in front of Sveum. As soon as the ball is hit, I know Ramirez can't score. The ball was hit too hard, Manny isn't fast and Jose Guillen has the best arm of any leftfielder in baseball. But to my horror Sveum had the windmill going. And going and going. Then a funny thing happened. Manny stopped at third. As if to say, "Dale, are you out of your mind? When Manny Ramirez has better instincts on the bases than your third base coach you have a serious problem. Especially given that Manny would contribute mightily to that one-run loss by getting picked off second by the catcher. Three nights later with the Sox trailing in Kansas City, Sveum was presented a big challenge but not an unprecedented one for third base coaches. With one out and runners on first Bellhorn and second Damon , David Ortiz hit a deep drive to right. Damon went to tag up while Bellhorn ran hard to second, so when the ball went over Matt Stairs' head both Damon and Bellhorn were bearing down on Sveum. Sveum was unable to send Damon and hold Bellhorn, though at that point Bellhorn must be anticipating a hastily expressed second signal from the coach since he knows he's running up Damon's back. In his mea culpa to the Globe's Bob Hohler - parantheticalized as "I brain- cramped " - Sveum as much as admitted he wasn't up to the task. The factor that made Sveum's cerebral flatulence so odious was the on-deck batter: Manny Ramirez. In today's win Sveum gaffed in the other direction. With the bases loaded and one out, David Ortiz hit a ground ball single to right field. In Sveum's defense, the admittedly slow Kevin Millar was on second and the Sox were trailing But here are the three reasons Sveum should have sent Millar: At that point you have to push that second run across on the Ortiz hit and assume that Crespo one RBI in 74 at-bats to that point won't get the job done. Sure enough Crespo hits a chopper to first base and only a freak play on which Ken Harvey's throw hit pitcher Jason Grimsley in the face prevented a force out at home. Either Dale Sveum doesn't understand the criteria for making a decision in the third base coaching box or he panics. Either way, once again, our third base coach is killing us. Where have you gone, Gene Lamont? How complete is the brain-washing once you drink the Yankee Kool-Aid? When Alex Rodriguez returned to Texas and was roundly booed, announcer Ken Singleton was incredulous. He simply couldn't understand why the fans were booing a guy who had played so well for the Rangers. Really, Ken? You have no idea? A guy comes to town, usurps so much payroll that the team cannot field a contender, then demands to be traded because the team cannot afford to field a contender and Ken Singleton and Bobby Murcer just can't understand why the fans are booing. Given that he is physically incapable of pitching a complete game and usually gets roughed up a little as his fastball inches upward in the early going, what does Bill James think Pedro Martinez is worth at this stage in his career? And what did Terry Francona see in Anaheim that made him think Pedro should go back out for the sixth on Wednesday night? Even the pitch he struck out Kotchman with to end the fifth was in a bad spot. Mike Timlin redeemed himself today with three perfect innings after that awful appearance in Anaheim you've got to just bounce splits against Vlad when he's that hot , but we need Scott Williamson back. Keeping him was the silver lining to the A-Rod deal falling through. Interesting that three of the five guys in that deal Nomar, Mags, Williamson have been hurt. Crespo jumped from one ribbie every 74 ABs to one every Just noticed that before B. Kim was demoted four of the Sox five starters were named to the All-Star game. Pete and D-Lowe in the A. And yet only one of those guys seems likely to return this year. It is, as always, with great trepidation that I declare my love for this latest edition of the Boston Red Sox. I know in doing so I have almost certainly guaranteed a four-game losing streak. The Sox are a beguiling and bizarre Frankensquad. Not just any guys either. Trot Nixon finished fifth in the A. Nomar Garciaparra and Bill Mueller have won three batting titles between them. Ramiro Mendoza… okay, not all the injuries have hurt the team. Mark Bellhorn has been such an incredible find that it can now be reasonably suggested that the team will not necessarily be better with the return of the notoriously impatient Garciaparra. I have, however, seen him hit for power to all fields, drilling a gap seemingly every time there are runners in scoring position. Sure, he fans a lot and has a certain je ne sais Todd Walker about him defensively, but it just seems like this guy helps you win. Yet another tip of the cap to Theo. Apparently not. On the other hand, the whole point of playing a slow guy out of position is to enhance your lineup. This is clearly not happening. More speed, more range, better arm, fewer GIDPs. But seriously, Trot, hurry back… that is, if you can hurry back without hurting yourself again. One gets the feeling that for enduring baseball health the perfect offseason training regimen lies somewhere between what Trot does and what Nomar does. Whatever, the dude is — as my buddy Jeff says — nails. But far and away the most thrilling upgrade from last year is the presence of Curt Schilling. We — and our fathers and grandfathers before us - have become so accustomed to bristly, angry, truculent superstars think Ted Williams, Bill Russell, Yaz that it is hard to believe this guy is for real. Intelligent, hard-working, super-prepared, good-humored… and he can pitch! Still say he nibbled against Orlando Hudson before giving up that granny to Chris Gomez. This peppy ditty should be piped into the Red Sox clubhouse 24 hours a day until every member of the team learns to count to three. I can understand losing track of the outs in a late August game between the Tigers and Indians at Comerica. But how the hell do the Red Sox repeatedly drift into vapor lock in critical games against the team we most need to beat? In the span of 11 months, just off the top of my head, the Sox have had four separate outfielders lose track of the number of outs. Two of them have done it twice. In a July series against the Yankees at Fenway, Manny Ramirez was off on the crack of the bat on a routine fly ball, mistakenly thinking there were two outs, and was doubled off to end the inning. Later last season, in a series at Yankee Stadium, Manny thought he had caught the third out and began jogging into the dugout, only to turn around when he saw his teammates laughing at him. This is hilarious. Oh boy, that is funny. Great stuff. So when Pokey Reese sliced a hit toward the right-field corner Kapler played it halfway and was only able to move up to second. At which point first base coach Lynn Jones and third base coach Dale Sveum certainly alerted him to the situation, right? Or did they not know the number of outs either? I mean, seriously, what the hell were the base coaches doing between that brain cramp and the one that immediately followed it. I was thinking about the break I was trying to get off [Kevin] Brown. I was focusing on him and I wasn't thinking of anything else. I never figured out there were two outs. I got to the dugout and Tito [Francona] said it was going to take eight hits to score me. And he was probably right. Oh, this just gets funnier and funnier! How about fines for Kapler, Sveum and Jones? This Little League crap must stop. Was any Red Sox fan surprised that our fragile former ace got shelled in bad weather on four days rest against the Orioles or that our workload-loving sinkerballer got shelled on 10 days rest against the Yankees? As a longtime baseball man surely Francona understands that sinkerballers thrive on work. The rest of the staff went more or less on schedule. Why the rush to bring Pedro back on four days rest? If, as has been suggested, it was to avoid the circus atmosphere of having Pete pitch against the Yankees, then we are still letting the Evil Empire dictate what we do. As stupid as it would be to move Pedro up to pitch against the Yankees, it is just as dumb to move him up to miss the Yankees. I would like Derek Jeter to show us on a K-Zone diagram any location where a called third strike would not send him into a crying fit. Twice over the weekend he got punched out on pitches right down the middle and broke into his whining, head-shaking, supremely arrogant tantrum. So when Pokey Reese sliced a hit toward the right-field corner Kapler played it halfway and was only able to move up to second. At which point first base coach Lynn Jones and third base coach Dale Sveum certainly alerted him to the situation, right? Or did they not know the number of outs either? I mean, seriously, what the hell were the base coaches doing between that brain cramp and the one that immediately followed it. I was thinking about the break I was trying to get off [Kevin] Brown. I was focusing on him and I wasn't thinking of anything else. I never figured out there were two outs. I got to the dugout and Tito [Francona] said it was going to take eight hits to score me. And he was probably right. Oh, this just gets funnier and funnier! How about fines for Kapler, Sveum and Jones? This Little League crap must stop. Was any Red Sox fan surprised that our fragile former ace got shelled in bad weather on four days rest against the Orioles or that our workload-loving sinkerballer got shelled on 10 days rest against the Yankees? As a longtime baseball man surely Francona understands that sinkerballers thrive on work. The rest of the staff went more or less on schedule. Why the rush to bring Pedro back on four days rest? If, as has been suggested, it was to avoid the circus atmosphere of having Pete pitch against the Yankees, then we are still letting the Evil Empire dictate what we do. As stupid as it would be to move Pedro up to pitch against the Yankees, it is just as dumb to move him up to miss the Yankees. I would like Derek Jeter to show us on a K-Zone diagram any location where a called third strike would not send him into a crying fit. Twice over the weekend he got punched out on pitches right down the middle and broke into his whining, head-shaking, supremely arrogant tantrum. Maybe he should sit down in the video room with Mike Mussina and Kevin Brown and see if they would expect to get those pitches. Or is Jeter implying that the double standard that applies to the Yankees in all other facets of Major League Baseball should also apply to the strike zone? The sad thing is that we finally had a goalie who looked like he could carry a team to the Cup. But Hal Gill got walked by Alexei Kovalev and no one found Richard Zednick and no one could make a play and… well, that will be a bad taste to swish around throughout the lockout. They're No Angels Too Bad. As anyone who knows me can attest, I am prone to irrational overreaction immediately after Opening Day losses. Which is why I waited two full days - and for a victory - before writing off this season. Last year, when Chad Fox coughed up a lead in the bottom of the ninth on a three-run homer by Carl Crawford in a loss to the D-Rays, I went into full Chicken Little mode, telling anyone who would listen that we had no bullpen, our manager was an idiot and the season was over. In my defense, two of those three statements were true. The bullpen was awful and the manager, well, you know. In fact, isn't it ironic - or tragic - that when the bullpen became one of our strengths in the playoffs, the idiot refused to Two years ago, after a loss to the Blue Jays at Fenway, I not only declared the season a bust, I insisted that Pedro's career was over. He proceeded to go over the next two years. But this year is different. You see, in and I had very high hopes that felt dashed on Opening Day. Curt Schilling and Keith Foulke are major upgrades, but everywhere else are ominous warning signs. After a charmed year in the health department, that fluky, freaky injury pendulum is swinging back violently. Trot's back, Nomar's Achilles and B. And as the radar readings sink, so, too, must the Sword of Damocles Dr. Andrews' scalpel that hovers by a thread over the most closely monitored rotator cuff in New England. Indeed, Pedro has a look of resignation that suggests his next trip to the DL may be more like 15 months than 15 days. Bill Mueller's elbow is bothering him, leading to a couple of throws at the end of spring training that evoked the traumatizing Summer of Hobson when Butchy made 43 errors in Speaking of whom, does Johnny Damon look a step slow this year? And does anyone think Mueller can repeat his phenomenal season? Or Mike Timlin? Will Pokey Reese hit. Does Ellis Burks have anything left, even in a supporting role? And what of the Toxic Twins and their anger? Nomar, perhaps rightfully, hasn't stopped seething since The Deal first came up, and one has to wonder as he nurses yet another tendon injury not only what Jack McDowell would say about Nomie but whether he'll be in a huge rush to come back. And Pedro - who ardently believes contracts should be based on past performance and not a realistic view of the future - will probably never be happy in Boston again. What do we do with these guys? Hope the savings was worth it. So, yes, I think that despite the addition of that uber-classy stud Schilling and a reliable closer, this season will ultimately be a big disappointment. But I reserve the right to be wrong. Meet the New Hate. I love baseball. I really, really love baseball. But my love of baseball is not an irrational, do-something-I'll-regret-later kind of love. That kind of love I reserve specifically for the Red Sox. For instance, the chair had not even impacted on the far wall of my apartment and I was already regretting it when I snapped during a regular-season game in after Pedro Martinez hit Steve Cox with a curveball with the bases loaded. It wasn't forcing in the run so much as knowing Petey was about to go on the DL, though forcing in a run against the D-Rays was depressing in its own right. I also regretted it shortly after running down to the railing to scream at Jimy Williams as he walked back to the dugout after leaving Pedro in too long in a game in Anaheim - what is with these managers who know so much less about Pedro's limitations than we do? I didn't regret letting Williams know what I thought of his decision, but my scream was so blood-curtling that I actually injured my larynx and had to sit quietly for the rest of the game. Again, I was thrilled that we could salute our team, but bummed that our exuberance got one very nice PR lady yelled at by her boss. Still, as worrisome as it can be, it is not my love of the Sox and the concomitant repercussions that have me worried. It's hate. Call it the New Hate, a lot like the old hate, only stronger, more violent. A serious strain, this new virus has spread beyond the Bronx, to the player union's office, the commissioner's office and deep into the heart of Texas. I now feel perfectly capable of punching Gene Orza in the face if given the opportunity. What did William Ligue get for attacking Tom Gamboa? That would be a great phone call. My friend T. Listen, that's not the point, can you bail me out or not? That's what I'm afraid of. Though, on a more rational point, I really would like to hear from Gene Orza how having A-Rod in New York is going to help his union in the long term. Is it good for the workers at Chevrolet if Ford gobbles up more market share? Won't a hyper-concentration of talent in one city reduce gate receipts among the competition and lead to fewer employers able to pay high wages? But I'm probably being naive. Orza was in all likelihood "gotten to" by someone from the Empire. I mean once George Steinbrenner was convicted of a felony for illegal campaign contributions to his friend Richard Nixon - who, you may remember, was himself willing to go to extremes to subvert democracy - would anything surprise us? I wonder who George's Howard Spira is these days. The New Hate is powerful and I only hope, if I'm ever in a room with Orza, I have the good sense to merely spill a drink on him and not break his nose. And just when I thought it wouldn't be possible to hate Bud Selig anymore I mean, seriously, why would he even sit down with that remorseless scumbag Pete Rose? Anyone remember listening to that whiny brat Steinbrenner complain about having to subsidize teams for their own ineptitude? Well now he has one of those inept teams subsidizing his team so substantially that it will cover his luxury tax fees, meaning all the revenue from increased ticket sales is just more gravy for that fat felon to splash around in. And, by the way, doesn't the mere fact that the Yankees could actually double ticket sales upon acquiring A-Rod after finishing in first for six straight seasons say something about New York as a sports town? As for that other venal billionaire, here's hoping that one of the many line drives Chan Ho Park gives up this year finds the owner's box and Tom Hicks's temple. If he avoids that fate, he will almost certainly be showered with obscenities for fielding yet another in a long line of last-place teams while bundling money off to New York to help the Yankees in their quest to end their three-year - heavens! Hick's campaign contributions to George W. Bush have paid off. Though he has not as yet been charged with or convicted of a felony for any of those contributions. The New Hate, of course, includes the old hate, which means I hate anyone in pinstripes. So, yes, I now hate Alex Rodriguez, the class act who did everything he could to get to Boston. Had Orza allowed the move, A-Rod would be wearing No. I would have loved him, irrationally so. But now I hate him irrationally. And whereas I used to draw the line at rooting for career-ending injuries, well, let's just say little would make me happier than penning Ode to a Sprinklerhead if A-Rod were to take a misstep and never be the same. I understand the karmic implications of this kind of thinking, especially with Pedro roughly 20 times as likely to break down, that's what makes it all so freakin' irrational. This is the New Hate. I'm not proud of it. The Idiot Which should be sometime around noon tomorrow. I mean, even Antonio Scalia couldn't vote to execute someone this stupid. Call him Gradio, the well-meaning, retarded man-child who would be nice to have around if he weren't actually making the decisions. Oh, but that's right, he didn't make the decision tonight. He left it up to his ebbing ace. What the hell does he think Pedro is going to say? If it's the pitcher's decision then the manager should just sit in the dugout until the pitcher signals him with a "no mas" wave of the arms above the head. When it mattered most, Grady pushed the biggest decision of his career onto the fragile shoulders of his little ace. Tonight Grady Little was Steinbeck's sweet Lennie Small, a confused half-wit squeezing the life out of our team as he tried to squeeze two more outs out of his half-dead starter. He was Billy Budd, stammering with apoplexy as the circumstances closed in around him. He was Faulkner's Benjy, telling his idiotic tale, full of sound and fury, signifying the end of our season. He was Charley clumsily stepping on Algernon's trachea. He was, in the end, a tragic character, a pathetic ass who had no business being put into this spotlight or subjected to this pressure. If ever a guy was born to manage in Visalia, this is the dude. The players may love him for his chummy, pat-ya-on-the-back style, but it was their championship that he tossed away by not having the stuff when it was needed. That stuff, of course, was Alan Embree's 97 mph fastball, which sat idly in the pen until the score was tied before being brought in to explode Jason Giambi's bat. But you know all that. The point is Grady wanted to win tonight, but he was just too damned stupid to figure out the best way - or the second best way - to make that happen. Should we condemn a man who doesn't know right from wrong? Should we crucify a slack-jawed huckleberry for being in over his head? Should we hunt the drooling goober down and stab him with our steely knives? No, firing him - or, rather, not picking up his option - will do. So put away your torches and pitch forks, let the bewildered beast leave in peace. We Shall Overcome Our Manager. There are many small minds in Red Sox Nation. But, sadly, none smaller than the one making the in-game decisions. The financial genius who owns the team and the boy genius who put the team together - like us - must just sit and watch in horror as Grady drives this cherry sports car with all the care of a coked-up valet. The irony, of course, is that as graduates of the Bill James-Sandy Alderson-Billy Beane Academy of Winning Baseball, the Sox' brain trust has done everything it can to remove almost all decision-making from the trembling hands of the manager. We have the greatest lineup in baseball history. Put it out there every day. Make their pitchers get 27 outs. Don't bunt. Don't run. This is the well-established formula. Sure, it needs some tweaks here and there - like, don't pitch Scott Sauerbeck if the game is still within reach, for example. But all their efforts at idiot-proofing this wonderful team are often laid to waste by one of Grady's bizarre decisions. When asked why he didn't bunt Gabe Kapler with runners on first and second and nobody out in the second inning Thursday night, Grady answered, "We didn't get to this point where we are now by moving runners that early in the ballgame. We're not going to start now. That's right, Grady. Good, Grady. We don't move runners early in the game. Perhaps Grady had forgotten that he did move a runner early in the game, sending Kapler on a pitch to Bill Mueller despite the fact that Kapler had about a inch lead against Andy Pettitte and couldn't break for second until the ball was about 20 feet out of Pettitte's hand. We all know what happened. Mueller took a borderline pitch for strike three, Kapler was thrown out by 20 feet, six of the next seven batters reached and we came away with one run. That's right, seven of the first nine Red Sox batters reached base and we scored one freakin' run! Good going, Grady. Here is why Grady's sending Kapler was so typically idiotic: The advantages of moving the runner are almost totally eliminated if the runner can't get a jump and the risks are magnified. Had Mueller hit a double-play ball, it was still going to be a double play. A line drive at somebody - double play. A strikeout - double play. Grady is so completely incapable of conducting the simplest risk-benefit analysis, it defies comprehension how this guy got to the Big Leagues. Sure, he's a great back-slapper, an avuncular chum, a perfect fourth for cards or a fishing trip. But I've never seen a worse strategist, particularly given how little strategy this team demands. Why can't the GM make the in-game decisions? Grady is also the only guy in Red Sox Nation who has yet to realize that Damian Jackson is a terrible defensive player. Bad hands and bad instincts do not a defensive replacement make. Especially when the admittedly poor defensive player he's replacing is the team's hottest hitter. The three most notable things Damian Jackson has done in the playoffs are: All Todd Walker has done is tie the postseason record for home runs by a second baseman. Todd Walker needs to play every game the rest of the way and should never be lifted in the sixth inning - the sixth inning! Yes, that's right, the most important games of the season and our two hottest hitters - Tood Walker and Jason Varitek - are being platooned, each missing a start every four games, guaranteeing that this lineup that the brass put together so meticulously will only be on the field together in half the games. For the love of God, why? What's your least favorite Grady decision? The good news is that the final standings have been somewhat more forgiving of bad starts in recent years. The 11 teams to overcome losing Aprils: Louis 12 15 1. Louis 10 13 5. Louis 12 14 4. Like looking at your final resting place. Member Name: TV Listings. ESPN Zone. Play Your Way. Team ESPN. Coaches Fundraising. Fan Profiles. Fantasy Games. Page 2. ESPN Corrections. Join Our Team. NFL Front Page. NFL Insider. ESPN Partner: RealTime Scores..

When Manny Ramirez has better instincts on the bases than your third base coach you have a serious problem. Especially given that Manny would contribute mightily to Red sox boob flash keith foulkes one-run loss by getting picked off second by the catcher. Three nights later with the Sox trailing in Kansas City, Sveum was presented a big challenge but not an unprecedented one for third base coaches.

With one out and runners on first Bellhorn gif her squirt Clitoris second DamonDavid Ortiz hit a deep drive to right. Damon went to tag up while Bellhorn ran hard to second, so when the ball went over Matt Stairs' head both Damon Red sox boob flash keith foulkes Bellhorn were bearing down on Sveum.

Sveum was unable to send Damon and hold Bellhorn, though at that point Bellhorn must be anticipating a hastily expressed second signal from the coach since he knows he's running up Damon's back. In go here mea culpa to the Globe's Bob Hohler - parantheticalized as "I brain- cramped " - Sveum as much as admitted he wasn't up to the task.

The factor that made Sveum's cerebral flatulence so odious was the on-deck batter: Manny Ramirez. In today's win Sveum gaffed in the other direction. With the bases loaded and one out, David Ortiz hit a ground ball single to right field. In Sveum's defense, the admittedly slow Kevin Millar was on second and the Sox were trailing But here are the three reasons Sveum should have sent Millar: At that point you have to push that Red sox boob flash keith foulkes run across on the Ortiz hit and assume that Crespo one RBI in 74 at-bats to that point won't get the job done.

Sure enough Crespo hits a chopper to first base Red sox boob flash keith foulkes only a freak play on which Ken Harvey's throw hit pitcher Jason Grimsley in the face prevented a force out at home.

Either Dale Sveum doesn't understand the criteria for making a decision in the third base coaching box or he panics. Either way, once again, our third base coach is killing us.

Xxxratedvideos com Watch Video Wildcamporn. How does one fight such a war? As in the past think of the colonists engaging the British during the American Revolution, or the Mujahideen against the Russians in Afghanistan , or even now as the insurgency against the U. Consider Iraq. Is there any doubt that if the insurgency and al Qaida chose to fight one sustained battle in a single location the U. The unfortunate reality is that it makes no difference whether U. The tools of battle used by the insurgents in Iraq and terror organizations throughout the world — an IED planted on the side of a road or in a train, the homicide bomber who walks into a crowded restaurant and detonates himself, or the use of a passenger jet as a missile have already proven their success. But outside of the usual places we went to and the people we met, a few memories and lasting impressions remain:. Lots of laughs just tossing back and forth our favorite John Wayne movies. Just Goodboys having some fun…. Thanks, Jackrabbit! Almost worth making the drive back to Vegas all by itself. Gay Eclipse Rum — 1 oz. Note 2 — For a slight different taste and a very pretty color, change the Orange Curacao to Blue Curacao and watch it go green! I always liked Keith Foulke, though he was never really cut out for playing under the media microscope that is Boston. All the guy ever wanted to do was pitch, but somehow that was never enough for the whiny girly-girls that make up the majority of the Boston sports media, and at least I hope the minority of Red Sox fans. Foulke lost some stature in the eyes of fans because of several flare-ups in Boston over the past two seasons. Rather than just let slide a comment made obviously out of frustration and anger by a struggling pitcher, the Dan Shaughnessy s and Tony Massarotti s of the world, who love to sit on their high thrones just waiting for a Boston athlete to say something they can use to generate negative headlines and stories, pounced, utimately forcing Foulke to issue an apology — something that never should have been necessary. Sure, had his up and down stretches during the year that would either have you pumping your fist in the air in exultation, or heading for that secret spot where your wife thought she had sufficiently hid the Cuervo Gold. But, by and large, Foulke served the purpose for which Theo Epstein signed him during those dreary Grady Little, post Yankee series meltdown days in the winter of So best of luck to you in the future Keith, and thanks. Those nattering nabobs of negativity in the Boston media may not have liked you, but to me, you were always OK. You did the job you were brought here for — to help bring us long-suffering Red Sox fans a world championship and a season we will never forget. And for that, I will always be grateful. Last night's loss to the Blue Jays was a three-hour-andminute desecration of everything that is holy and sacred about baseball. How could so much ugly exist in one game? How could one horrible loss be made up of so many awful, nauseating moments? Atrocious umpiring, inept baserunning, spastic fielding, unconscionable basecoaching, daft managing There were, of course, plenty of physical mistakes, many of them served up by that tag-team duo of Sauerback and Williamson. From vaunted to haunted, these two acquisitions have been spectacularly bad. Sauerback 5. It's hard to believe how awful these guys have been. I suspect neither has ever had a stretch like this in his career. Nice timing, fellas. But the killer for me, natch, is the raft of mental mistakes the team made. Bill Mueller getting doubled off second to squelch the fourth-inning rally on a routine liner to Orlando Hudson was at least uncharacteristic. He clearly got a bad read on the ball, thought it was hit harder than it was and was thinking about scoring. But in that situation - with Manny Ramirez on deck - he has to "see the line drive through. But it was the play before that that really infuriated me. Blue Jays starter Mark Hendrickson had allowed seven consecutive batters to reach base when Todd Walker came to the plate with runners on first and second and no one out. The guy simply could not get an out. So what do we do? We bunt the ball right back to him in a moment of tender mercy but terrible baseball. How long has Moneyball been in stores? How long has Bill James been publishing? Do we need more data on the sagacity of the fourth-inning sacrifice bunt in a slugfest with a pitcher on the ropes? Why would you ever hand that guy one of the three outs he needs to survive the inning? I don't know which rocket scientist decided to bunt - Walker or Grady Little - but it was a terrible play and a terrible bunt and plain stupid. Editor's note: Walker was the rocket scientist. That said, Walker outdid himself in the seventh when he broke into his Cadillac trot on a ball that - surprise! Jays skipper Carlos Tosca and I both think Walker got thrown out at second despite his desperate post-jog dash. The question is, How can a guy who hasn't hit a home run in a plate appearances be so sure a ball is gone? And what is the danger of running hard until you see the ump signal home run? Not looking cool? In the name of Timo Perez see World Series , why not run hard? Trust me, Todd, nothing could be as embarrassing as your defense, not even your. Tell me again how this guy helps your team. But the absolutely most unforgivable decision of the night was made by Mike Cubbage, who once again proved he has no idea what he's doing as our third base coach. Trailing with runners on first and second and nobody out, Cubby sent Manny Ramirez on Doug Mirabelli's soft liner to center. Thankfully, Vernon Wells, too, was momentarily stunned by Cubbage's fundamental lack of understanding of how the bases should be run in certain situations. Manny made a deft slide, swiping his hand across the back of the plate as Greg Myers just missed him with a sweep tag. But how, oh how, can you send Manny there, down by six runs with nobody out? Go ahead, make the argument. Just because we got away with it, doesn't mean it was the right thing to do. If anything this will embolden Cubbage to make similarly bad decisions. Can you imagine if Wells comes up throwing right away? Manny gets gunned down at home plate - breaks a finger? Cubby, please, I'm begging you. If there's nobody out - never mind the huge deficit - that guy has got to be able to score standing for you to send him. In a season that has had this team's limited baseball I. You can't always throw your curveball for a strike. You can't always hit a slider. But you can always make your first step back to the bag on a line drive with less then two out. You can always run hard until you're sure the ball has left the park. You can always know the number of outs there are a bunch of guys obligated to tell you if you're not sure. The prospect of missing the playoffs for failing to follow these simple tenets of baseball is like losing a golf major for signing the wrong scorecard. It just cannot happen. Dear Orioles: Thanks for Nothing. Remember those pesky Orioles who took five of seven from the Sox over two weekends, including three of four in Fenway? The team that made every play, every pitch and got every clutch hit? The team that was destined to blow past Toronto and disrupt the six years running finish of the AL East? One week later, you wouldn't recognize them. All the O's have done since leaving their hearts and bats in Boston is get swept by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and lose the first three games of a four-game series to the Yankees despite leading in the seventh inning or later of all three games. Last night's loss established a new low of laying down for the Yankees. One night after Jorge Julio blew a ninth-inning lead by getting torched for four runs - three courtesy a home run by Aaron. I mean, this was something out of the World Series. Only nothing this egregious happened in the World Series. The O's were between five and 10 feet from tying the score in the bottom of the 12th inning when Jack Cust - an adult male who makes his living as a professional athlete - fell flat on his face, allowing Boone to tag him as he lay supine for the game's final out. This replay has to be seen to be believed. The Yankees had botched a rundown so completely that Cust was running home and no one was covering the plate. All he had to do was, well, not fall down. This isn't Zola Budd and Mary Decker getting tangled up. This isn't Kevin Dyson getting tackled on the one-yard line. This is a pro baseball player with nothing between him and the plate but humidity who simply fell down. When last we saw Jack Cust, he was adding his name to the long list of American Leaguers who have extra base hits off Jeff Suppan since his return to the Sox. The list: As incomprehensible as this sounds, Jeff Suppan has given up 15 extra-base hits in 16 and a third innings since we threw away next season's starting second baseman for him. Cust ripped two of those extra-base hits off Suppan - and homered off Mariano Rivera last night to make it interesting. True, the O's sure have found interesting ways to lose to the Yankees. None more interesting than last night. Do you remember the woman who collapsed in the L. Coliseum at the end of the marathon at the '84 Olympics? Her body was failing, she became incontinent, totally disoriented and had to fight through a series of full-body seizures to drag herself across the finish line. That's what Cust looked like, except that he had run less than feet and didn't make it to the finish line. The loss dropped Mike Hargrove to all-time against Joe Torre. Thanks for nothing, Orioles. At the very least George Steinbrenner should send you some fine wine this offseason, since your Jeckyll and Hyde act against us and them will be the difference in the AL East. While it's true I live in the densely populated Chicken Little section of Red Sox Nation, I don't think it's hysteria to say the sky is falling - or has fallen - after losing five of seven games to the still-below-. I won't break out the C-word because I don't think this bad patch has any real element of choking to it. Striking out on a Jorge Julio dive bomb one pitch after he's just hit on the radar gun is not choking. Giving up hits to legit studs Luis Matos and Jay Gibbons is not choking. And running the bases with your head buried in your posterior is not choking, though it is inexplicably idiotic and totally unforgivable. The most glaring revelation during these games has been the rather dire state of our pitching. In Derek Lowe's last two starts the Orioles have finished with 11 and 10 runs, respectively. Some people are saying that Lowe has reverted to his form when he was driven from the closer role by a series of game-losing home runs Paul O'Neill's and Joe Randa's come immediately to mind. But the fact is Derek Lowe has never been hit like this with the Red Sox. His ERA in was 3. Even in his woeful rookie season for the Mariners when he posted a 6. This means that in an average nine-inning start Lowe would allow Do these numbers explain the long face or does the long face explain these numbers? While his pouting is hard to watch, Sir Sulk's mound demeanor is less worrisome than the simple fact that his command has been awful. His strikes look like strikes and his balls look like balls. His slump may be a mystery, his pitches are not. Meet the new Jeff Suppan, same as the old Jeff Suppan. Ever wonder how a pitcher could give up home runs over four seasons pitching in a big yard like Kansas City? Now you know. What is his out pitch? When he has a guy on his hip , what is he going to put him away with? He'll just start nibbling. Welcome back, Mike Torrez. He's just another journeyman starter who never makes a guy take an uncomfortable swing or an emergency hack. And the worse part is that he is a classic non-Bill James guy with terrible lifetime strikeout-to-walk numbers. From , in appearances starts with the Royals, he struck out and walked , a bright red flag in even the most basic Bill James analysis. Oh, and by the way, we don't have a second baseman for next season. And don't have much of one for the stretch drive this year either. Despite his remarkable Faustian run over his last 10 starts, does anybody really have any confidence in John Burkett? Aren't we all waiting for the other shoe to drop? And by shoe, I mean eight runs in an inning and a third. Thank goodness he's turned it around or we wouldn't still be clinging to one-game lead in the Wild Card, but he's scheduled to match up against Barry Zito on Tuesday in Oakland. I'm guessing Vegas will have that at right about Things would look more optimistic if the pen that once held the promise of shortening games wasn't so shaky. Our great Scotts have been anything but as Williamson 9. Sauerback has been so bad 2. Was it Morgan Stanley or Goldman Sachs that so grossly inflated Sauerback's value at the trade deadline? And where oh where have the overmatched, bail-out swings against Byung-Hyun Kim's frisbee been? As mysterious as Lowe's struggles are, the sudden solving of B. While he has been largely effective and a significant upgrade over the closer by kamikaze Chad Fox, we hardly knew ye, thankfully , he has not been the lights-out, nail-in-the-coffin closer he was in Arizona. As for Manny Ramirez getting caught stealing with one out, down by two runs and Kevin Millar at the plate or Trot Nixon getting thrown out down by three runs, it's just the latest canto in a divine comedy of horribly unfundamental baseball by these two great players. Both have forgotten the numbers of outs this season - Manny got doubled off in a game against the Yankees, Trot flipped a ball into the stands against the Angels - and both charge around the bases with a total disregard for the situation, a bad habit when you're not very fast. Today's how-not-to-run-the-bases clinic came the day after Johnny Damon cost the team a run and Manny an RBI by getting caught off third on a one-hopper back to the mound. The sad fact is that the Red Sox are a big, mostly slow team of wallbangers with thin starting pitching and a questionable bullpen. A bit long for an epitaph, but I think you get the point. It's like asking Edward Scizzorhands to hold your hemophiliac baby. One hundred twenty-eight pitches? For the second time in three starts? We have two closers, one of whom has a rubber arm. How the hell does Pedro come out for the ninth after pitches? Yes, I agree with the Big Dog, "pitch counts are for wussies," which is exactly why Petey needs to be on one every time out. In case you haven't noticed, Pedro is something of a wussy. He's our wussy, a beautiful, magical, once-in-a-lifetime wussy, but a wussy nonetheless. The only thing more fragile than his shoulder are his feelings. Sure, the 10 no-decisions in 19 starts were a drag, but word on the street was we'd solved our bullpen problems, though Scott Sauerback's 2. With a three-run lead and the spots of the Angels order due up, surely we could have spared Pedro those last 20 high-intensity pitches. And it's not like he was dominating. He had only two innings. For the first five innings Aaron Sele was throwing harder than he was. He needed a spectacular catch from Johnny Damon on a drive to the wall in left center in the seventh and was twice taken high off the monster by David Eckstein. One aborted start later and Petey confirmed that he'd gotten hurt in the Angels came. Still waiting on the apology, Bawb. I'm not saying he's hurt now, but he has definitely been in a funk, where he is forced to battle for every out. These funks are often followed by a trip to the DL, which is much more calamitous than a trip to the DR though perhaps not in all quarters of Red Sox Nation. Does anyone think Pedro has looked sharp lately? In the pitch grind against the Empire? Against Shane Spencer in Arlington? During tonight's nifty hitter? The guy has clearly been laboring. So why, why, why would you not lift him after eight? We're in the middle of a games-indays stretch, no additional rest for Pedro between starts. I don't like it when he flies home between starts not because he's abandoning his teammates but because I can't stop thinking about Roberto Clemente. I also don't like it that Petey has been doing the Steve Carlton thing with the media, because, unlike Lefty, Pedro is a great quote. I really don't like the fact that the bullpen has been tagged for seven losses in his starts. But pitches? Say it ain't so, Gump. In his last three starts Pedro has thrown pitches. He has allowed 32 baserunners in 21 and two-thirds innings over that stretch, a disturbing 1. On Monday he'll face Tim Hudson at Oakland. Hudson watched the ninth inning tonight after throwing pitches through eight. Well, if the Red Sox fall short this season, let me be the first to say, "It's not your fault. Look, I don't mind advertising in baseball. Put ads behind the plate and on any fence you want -- heck, the Green Monster used to be one large advertisement. Just keep them off the actual field. But my biggest question about the Spider-Man controversy is this: Did the producers really think this advertising deal was necessary? Like there is anyone in America who wasn't going to know about the Spider-Man sequel unless they saw it on the bases at a Devil Rays game? And here's another sign of the times. As you might expect for a team that has a huge following in Japan, one of the messages on the revolving billboard behind home plate in Seattle is printed in Japanese. But you might find its English translation interesting: Tuffy Rhodes hit his th career home run in Japan last week. Could be. Since the first year of expanded playoffs in which baseball played the entire month of April , only 11 teams reached the postseason after entering May with a losing record. Of those, only Oakland in , Anaheim in and Minnesota in did so after finishing April as many as six games out of first place. And only the Athletics overcame an April record of more than three games under. That's bad news for the Mariners, who woke up Wednesday eight games under. The good news is that the final standings have been somewhat more forgiving of bad starts in recent years. The 11 teams to overcome losing Aprils: Louis 12 15 1. Louis 10 13 5. Louis 12 14 4. Like looking at your final resting place. Walking the bases loaded to pitch to Ramon Hernandez. And, like you, I've seen some beauts. Grady's final decision was by far his worst, but it was really the logical conclusion to a night of horribly inept mismanaging. The sum total of everything Grady Little has learned in a lifetime in the game seems to be lefty-lefty, righty-righty. Everyone who watches baseball is familiar with the sequence where sending up a pinch hitter sets in motion a pitching change by the opposition and the concomitant pinch hitter for the pinch hitter by the batting team. So we all knew what was coming when Grady sent David McCarty up to pinch hit for Trot Nixon in the 8th, except for Grady apparently, who could not possibly have preferred to have Adrian Brown against Chad Bradford over Trot against Rincon, who had already been taken deep by a left-handed hitter. This was an astounding managerial move. I'd rather have Trot on a prosthetic leg against Rincon than Adrian Brown against the superior Bradford. When Brown whiffed weakly, we all suspected - despite Mr. Henry's entreaty not to fret - that this stupid move would come back to bite us. Oh, it did alright. But not right away. First, Grady inserted Damian Jackson for defense in the bottom of the ninth. Now before I can condemn Grady for this move, I have to eat a little crow first. No one has been a louder, more persistent critic of Todd Walker's defense than yours truly. Heck, I was calling for Damian Jackson to start when Walker went into his mid-summer swoon. But then a funny thing happened: I got to watch Damian Jackson play the infield semi-regularly. I watched him play third base in Baltimore. I watched him play shortstop in the Bronx. And I've been watching him play second - as a defensive sub - these last two months. Worse than Walker, if you can believe it. I can't believe Jackson was a starting shortstop in the Majors. He has no idea how to field a ground ball. Todd Walker led AL second baseman in errors with 16, posting a. Jackson, however, had a. To put that in perspective, had Jackson accepted as many chances as Nomar, his fielding percentage projects to a error season. But these numbers only confirm what our eyes have been telling us. He's a poor defensive player, a negligible upgrade as it turns out, hardly worth the offensive drop-off. Jackson's defense didn't factor into the ninth-inning blown save, though it would factor decisively into the game-losing run. But before he could get to what he does poorly, he had to take care of what he does miserably. This, too, was Grady Little's fault. You see, once Grady had sent Jackson in as a defensive replacement, there he was, in the three-hole between Nomar and Manny. So when Johnny Damon wrangled a hard-earned walk off Keith Foulke, Jackson stood on deck with Nomar coming to the plate. While Damon is undoubtedly on his own when it comes to stealing second, this was one instance where a sentient manager would absolutely have had to put out the red light. If Damon steals second, Nomar will certainly be walked to bring up Jackson. But Grady doesn't throw up the stop sign, Damon steals second, Nomar is walked and, like Adrian Brown before him, the overmatched Jackson whiffs weakly with two runners on. Theo Epstein built this team with a singular sense of purpose: But when it mattered most - the two biggest at-bats of the season - we had a guy who couldn't make the Devil Rays and a guy who couldn't make the Tigers at the plate. Now I don't blame Grady for not bringing Mike Timlin out for the ninth. Nor do I blame him for the fact that Byung-Hyun Kim has no idea where the ball is going to go. Or that Alan Embree is a one-pitch pitcher and that pitch is not very good. But the fiasco in the bottom of the 12th was all Grady. With a runner on first and nobody out, Derek Lowe induced a routine double-play ball. But as he has these last couple of months, Damian Jackson approached it like it was a grenade, cautiously secured it and slooooowly flipped it to Nomar who was left with no chance of doubling up the not-that-speedy Eric Chavez. I know most of these guys like Grady. He's treated them with the respect and admiration they deserve. But tonight he defiled the game. Don't worry, guys, you'll learn to like Bobby Valentine, too. Why Not Us? Positive here, intrepidly risking optimism once again. Sure, every time I've said something nice about this team they've thumbed me in the eye. And, conversely, as long as I keep slamming them for their boneheaded plays and HIM for swinging at first pitches, they keep winning. But something changed last night. I mean, it just doesn't seem like our steely fatalism is any match for our team's rolling thunder. They just insist on bashing the pessimism out of us. We've been hearing all our lives that you can't win it all with suspect pitching and defensive holes. One thing we haven't heard - because it went without saying - is that no team would ever challenge the '27 Yankees for sheer murderousness. But here we are, on the verge of breaking the Bombers' single-season record for slugging percentage. And while we may have no idea how we're going to get the last six to nine outs of a playoff game, no team can match the problems the Sox present in terms of getting outs Our strengths are more glorious than our weaknesses are glaring. You know the numbers. Nine guys in double figures in homers. Eight guys over 80 RBIs. Club record for homers. Major League record for extra-base hits. And all that with two of their boppers - Nomar Garciaparra and Kevin Millar - doing nothing for almost a month. But will the magic bats be enough to mask the Big Problem? Two of the bullpen cures - Scott Williamson and Scott Saurebeck - have been worse than the original disease. And yes, that was the same Chad Fox continuing his awesome stretch for the Marlins with a huge punchout against the Phils yesterday. Williamson has been pitching with a "barking" arm and a heavy heart as his infant son was hospitalized with a high fever. But his child is home now and an MRI said his shoulder is sound. I like to think he's going to have two strong tune-up outings in these last five games and be his old dominant self in the playoffs. Sauerbeck, meanwhile, has invented a whole new pitching category: Have you ever seen a guy who can't throw 90 who was this wild. The difference, of course, is that guys like Dalkowski and young Mitch Williams were almost unhittable. Sauerbeck has also allowed 16 hits in his 14 and two-thirds. This is my question for the good people at Elias: It can't have happened that often. But maybe last night's escape job will give Sauerbeck some confidence, he'll start finding the strike zone with his curve and he'll not only make the playoff roster but actually contribute with memorable strikeouts of Eric Chavez and Jason Giambi. Hey, stop giggling, just two months ago this guy was the most coveted lefty setup man in baseball. Byung-Hyun Kim is back. He has responded to getting pulled Friday night in Cleveland with three straight strong outings. True, he has very little idea where the ball is going and will fall behind on a guy with a. Alan Embree giving up four hits to six batters Monday night two on fastballs makes the nervous fan wish he had more than one pitch. But he's a gamer, capable of getting in a groove. Can't you see him blowing down Eurubiel Durazo in a tight spot? And maybe Mike Timlin will keep being the rock he's been all season except for all those home runs. If these five embattled relievers can get hot for three weeks We should be slight favorites against the A's, slight underdogs against the Yankees sorry Twins fans, bad matchup for you and slight home-field thanks Hank Blalock favorites in the World Series. Why not us, indeed? Damn, I knew this was a bad idea. Burkett has given up hits to two of the first three guys. Deep, Troubled, Thoughts. I'll never forget the high school basketball practice where Coach Hunnewell angrily asked a teammate of mine why he had tried to make a certain pass and the flustered kid said, "I thought he was open. We shook our heads. It gave me a whole new perspective on the dangers of thinking when playing sports. You can't think. You can only know. Intimidated as we were by our former Marine coach, we mostly just soiled our shorts. Which brings us to the long list of high school level mental mistakes the Red Sox have made this season. Johnny might have KNOWN that this was not the case had he asked the umpire standing a few feet away, but chose instead to trust his thoughts and began trotting back to first, only to be tagged out to end the inning. If this were an isolated incident, it might be funny, especially given that the team won and looks to be steamrolling into the playoffs. But not only was tonight's brain cramp not the least bit unusual, it might not make the season's top five. When he heard the panic in the ballpark, he KNEW he'd made a mistake. That ninth-inning narcolepsy completed quite a week for Trot. The Sox lost, On Friday, the eve of the Big Gaffe, Trot got caught between second and third and ended a rally when a throw to the plate was cut off. Manny Ramirez, of course, is the undisputed world champion of brain cramps. Since no one was on base, Pedro led the chuckles. Not as funny, perhaps, was the game in Fenway in late July against the Yankees when Manny THOUGHT there were two outs and began loping around the bases on a routine pop fly to right that became a double play in a one-run loss. Todd Walker has had two astounding moments of vapor lock. Last month he broke into a home run trot when he THOUGHT the ball was gone, but it bounced off the wall and only a questionable call at second kept him from a long walk of shame back to the dugout. About two thirds of the way there, he realized the flaw in his thinking: Again, he was bailed out, this time as Nomar lined a double to left with Walker otherwise hung out to dry. As we look ahead - and you know you are - to Red Sox games next week, don't we have enough to worry about? Isn't the fact that we have no real exit strategy for recording outs in a playoff game ample ulcer material? Why must we also be forced to fret over whether or not our guys know how many outs there are or if there is a runner on the base ahead of them? I don't care if Grady Little or Mike Cubbage has to call time after every pitch and make a big announcement. Please, Baby, Take a Pitch. It took Victor Zambrano pitches to record 21 outs in the Devil Rays' humiliation of the Red Sox last night that gave no indication of which team is actually in a pennant race. That's exactly six pitches per out for the pitcher that leads the American League in walks. But two of those 21 outs came on first pitches. Which hitter - despite facing the starting pitcher with the worst control in the league - do you suppose did not change his approach at the plate? The mere fact that everyone knows the answer to this question, that the question itself is rhetorical, is indicative of the depth of this problem. Yes, Nomar Garciaparra's 9-for Including his lunging, flailing strikeout on a pitch in the dirt and a foot outside in the seventh, Nomar made three outs on six pitches for an average of 2. He was also hit by a pitch, which, to his credit, he didn't swing at. The rest of the team forced Zambrano to make an average of almost seven pitches per out. With a little help from Nomar, mission accomplished. Sure, a Bill Mueller or a David Ortiz might battle you, but you can always look forward to that respite when Nomar comes up. He may get a base hit or a double off the wall, but he will not fight you tooth and nail or participate in 21st century baseball's war of attrition. You don't have to ask Nomar if he's read Moneyball to know that he flatly rejects Billy Beane's and Theo's perhaps organization-wide edict to see a lot of pitches. On Tuesday night, he drew two walks, allowing me to dream that he had had some kind of epiphany. His early career trajectory seemed to suggest a player who might one day draw walks as he went from the low 30s to 51 in to a career-high 61 in But then came the split longitudinal tendon and a return to the reckless, free-swinging days of his youth. Last year he walked only 41 times in almost plate appearances. This season he has walked 37 times, again in almost plate appearances. He has swung at more first pitches than any batter in the Majors. Now Nomar will argue, "Hey man, I'm hitting. Trot Nixon. This is because they do so judiciously. If Nomar swung at fewer first pitches - which are almost never cookies given his reputation - his first-pitch BA would rise too, right along with his OBP. Nomar has had an incredible season. His defense has never been better. His baserunning has won games. And, until his recent three-week slide, he was a legitimate MVP candidate. But you simply cannot approach Victor Zambrano the same way you'd approach Bob Tewksbury, who walked a guy every other month. You don't beat a guy like Zambrano by being aggressive. You beat him by being patient. But Nomar, as you've noticed, does things his way. And he's given every indication that he'd probably prefer to play in a city where rabid jackasses like me aren't charting the pitch counts of his at-bats. A city where no one would notice that he's become a dead pull hitter who never stays back on the ball and never hits with authority to right like he used to all the time. A city where he could fly off the ball and pop up to the right side for the th time and be greeted by a collective yawn on his way back to the dugout. A city where people believe there is something more important than baseball. I live in that city. And if Nomar wants to be a. But here goes. Eyes on the prize, people, eyes on the prize. I know it's hard to stay focused when you're waking up in the middle of the night with hot flashes of hatred for the defending AL batting champ who hit home runs for the Red Sox in fewer at-bats than Ted Williams we hated him, too, apparently , Jimmie Foxx or Jim Rice. You can make the personal decision that you'd rather see Manny Ramirez punished than see the Red Sox win a World Series, but don't delude yourself into thinking that the team can "cowboy up" and win this thing without him. Me, I don't care if the players respect Grady Little. I don't care if Johnny Damon's righteousness has been offended by his teammate's fecklessness. I don't care about sober interludes with Enrique Wilson. I care about one thing. See if you can guess what it is. But, since every blogger from time to time welcomes a compliment or two about his or her work, and since The Great White Shank is not above shilling for compliments, here are some of the spammy accolades that have poured in recently to Goodboys Nation weblog:. Hope everything is going well. Take care! Your site is wonderful and i bookmarked it. Thank your for the hard work you must have put in to create this wonderful facility. Perfect piece of work fellows!!!!!!! I have enjoyed visiting this site today and hope to visit many more times in the future. It looks so damn good! They were a young couple that always seemed to keep to themselves. Not that it was unkept in any way — just that the husband could be seen on weekends mowing his lawn, or plucking weeds from their walkway by hand. They had had a baby two years ago, but the only way their neighbors would have known that is that a crib appeared in their garage one day beside all their usual stuff. When one lives in a development where properties are walled in and garages part of the house construction, oftentimes the only time one sees his or her neighbor is when their garage door opens when they leave for work in the morning, or return from work at night. The first sign of change next door was the appearance of a car with out-of-state plates — Nebraska, I believe. Except on weekends. And it was strange how the car was never parked in the driveway — rather, it would always be left in the same place, along the sidewalk between our two properties. And who of the two had been left behind became apparent one weekend afternoon when I saw their child out front, watching the husband mow the lawn and pluck weeds from their walkway. This morning, the dogs next door sounded an alert of some activity out front, and I looked out front to see what was going on. Later, when I went for my afternoon walk to the mailbox, two contractor trucks were parked out front, ladders and painters having set up shop in their garage, freshly-planted flowers in the planters along the walkway. Returning from my walk to the mailbox, a couple of our neighbors waved a silent hello as they went about their chores, and I returned to my office and the work waiting for me there. Thankfully, the Oscars are over with, and hopefully, all the overwrought, overblown, and over-done coverage of Hollywood celebrities in our over-saturated media environment. Madre di Dios! Is it that our lives are so depressingly ordinary and boring that we need celebrities to fill some unfulfilled vacuum? In the end, there were no hysterics, or crashes of thunder and flashes of lightning, just the simple release of a communique in which Church leaders both rebuked TEC for its past actions, yet gave it time to formulate a suitable response that would address the concerns of the Global South i. Sauerback 5. It's hard to believe how awful these guys have been. I suspect neither has ever had a stretch like this in his career. Nice timing, fellas. But the killer for me, natch, is the raft of mental mistakes the team made. Bill Mueller getting doubled off second to squelch the fourth-inning rally on a routine liner to Orlando Hudson was at least uncharacteristic. He clearly got a bad read on the ball, thought it was hit harder than it was and was thinking about scoring. But in that situation - with Manny Ramirez on deck - he has to "see the line drive through. But it was the play before that that really infuriated me. Blue Jays starter Mark Hendrickson had allowed seven consecutive batters to reach base when Todd Walker came to the plate with runners on first and second and no one out. The guy simply could not get an out. So what do we do? We bunt the ball right back to him in a moment of tender mercy but terrible baseball. How long has Moneyball been in stores? How long has Bill James been publishing? Do we need more data on the sagacity of the fourth-inning sacrifice bunt in a slugfest with a pitcher on the ropes? Why would you ever hand that guy one of the three outs he needs to survive the inning? I don't know which rocket scientist decided to bunt - Walker or Grady Little - but it was a terrible play and a terrible bunt and plain stupid. Editor's note: Walker was the rocket scientist. That said, Walker outdid himself in the seventh when he broke into his Cadillac trot on a ball that - surprise! Jays skipper Carlos Tosca and I both think Walker got thrown out at second despite his desperate post-jog dash. The question is, How can a guy who hasn't hit a home run in a plate appearances be so sure a ball is gone? And what is the danger of running hard until you see the ump signal home run? Not looking cool? In the name of Timo Perez see World Series , why not run hard? Trust me, Todd, nothing could be as embarrassing as your defense, not even your. Tell me again how this guy helps your team. But the absolutely most unforgivable decision of the night was made by Mike Cubbage, who once again proved he has no idea what he's doing as our third base coach. Trailing with runners on first and second and nobody out, Cubby sent Manny Ramirez on Doug Mirabelli's soft liner to center. Thankfully, Vernon Wells, too, was momentarily stunned by Cubbage's fundamental lack of understanding of how the bases should be run in certain situations. Manny made a deft slide, swiping his hand across the back of the plate as Greg Myers just missed him with a sweep tag. But how, oh how, can you send Manny there, down by six runs with nobody out? Go ahead, make the argument. Just because we got away with it, doesn't mean it was the right thing to do. If anything this will embolden Cubbage to make similarly bad decisions. Can you imagine if Wells comes up throwing right away? Manny gets gunned down at home plate - breaks a finger? Cubby, please, I'm begging you. If there's nobody out - never mind the huge deficit - that guy has got to be able to score standing for you to send him. In a season that has had this team's limited baseball I. You can't always throw your curveball for a strike. You can't always hit a slider. But you can always make your first step back to the bag on a line drive with less then two out. You can always run hard until you're sure the ball has left the park. You can always know the number of outs there are a bunch of guys obligated to tell you if you're not sure. The prospect of missing the playoffs for failing to follow these simple tenets of baseball is like losing a golf major for signing the wrong scorecard. It just cannot happen. Dear Orioles: Thanks for Nothing. Remember those pesky Orioles who took five of seven from the Sox over two weekends, including three of four in Fenway? The team that made every play, every pitch and got every clutch hit? The team that was destined to blow past Toronto and disrupt the six years running finish of the AL East? One week later, you wouldn't recognize them. All the O's have done since leaving their hearts and bats in Boston is get swept by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and lose the first three games of a four-game series to the Yankees despite leading in the seventh inning or later of all three games. Last night's loss established a new low of laying down for the Yankees. One night after Jorge Julio blew a ninth-inning lead by getting torched for four runs - three courtesy a home run by Aaron. I mean, this was something out of the World Series. Only nothing this egregious happened in the World Series. The O's were between five and 10 feet from tying the score in the bottom of the 12th inning when Jack Cust - an adult male who makes his living as a professional athlete - fell flat on his face, allowing Boone to tag him as he lay supine for the game's final out. This replay has to be seen to be believed. The Yankees had botched a rundown so completely that Cust was running home and no one was covering the plate. All he had to do was, well, not fall down. This isn't Zola Budd and Mary Decker getting tangled up. This isn't Kevin Dyson getting tackled on the one-yard line. This is a pro baseball player with nothing between him and the plate but humidity who simply fell down. When last we saw Jack Cust, he was adding his name to the long list of American Leaguers who have extra base hits off Jeff Suppan since his return to the Sox. The list: As incomprehensible as this sounds, Jeff Suppan has given up 15 extra-base hits in 16 and a third innings since we threw away next season's starting second baseman for him. Cust ripped two of those extra-base hits off Suppan - and homered off Mariano Rivera last night to make it interesting. True, the O's sure have found interesting ways to lose to the Yankees. None more interesting than last night. Do you remember the woman who collapsed in the L. Coliseum at the end of the marathon at the '84 Olympics? Her body was failing, she became incontinent, totally disoriented and had to fight through a series of full-body seizures to drag herself across the finish line. That's what Cust looked like, except that he had run less than feet and didn't make it to the finish line. The loss dropped Mike Hargrove to all-time against Joe Torre. Thanks for nothing, Orioles. At the very least George Steinbrenner should send you some fine wine this offseason, since your Jeckyll and Hyde act against us and them will be the difference in the AL East. While it's true I live in the densely populated Chicken Little section of Red Sox Nation, I don't think it's hysteria to say the sky is falling - or has fallen - after losing five of seven games to the still-below-. I won't break out the C-word because I don't think this bad patch has any real element of choking to it. Striking out on a Jorge Julio dive bomb one pitch after he's just hit on the radar gun is not choking. Giving up hits to legit studs Luis Matos and Jay Gibbons is not choking. And running the bases with your head buried in your posterior is not choking, though it is inexplicably idiotic and totally unforgivable. The most glaring revelation during these games has been the rather dire state of our pitching. In Derek Lowe's last two starts the Orioles have finished with 11 and 10 runs, respectively. Some people are saying that Lowe has reverted to his form when he was driven from the closer role by a series of game-losing home runs Paul O'Neill's and Joe Randa's come immediately to mind. But the fact is Derek Lowe has never been hit like this with the Red Sox. His ERA in was 3. Even in his woeful rookie season for the Mariners when he posted a 6. This means that in an average nine-inning start Lowe would allow Do these numbers explain the long face or does the long face explain these numbers? While his pouting is hard to watch, Sir Sulk's mound demeanor is less worrisome than the simple fact that his command has been awful. His strikes look like strikes and his balls look like balls. His slump may be a mystery, his pitches are not. Meet the new Jeff Suppan, same as the old Jeff Suppan. Ever wonder how a pitcher could give up home runs over four seasons pitching in a big yard like Kansas City? Now you know. What is his out pitch? When he has a guy on his hip , what is he going to put him away with? He'll just start nibbling. Welcome back, Mike Torrez. He's just another journeyman starter who never makes a guy take an uncomfortable swing or an emergency hack. And the worse part is that he is a classic non-Bill James guy with terrible lifetime strikeout-to-walk numbers. From , in appearances starts with the Royals, he struck out and walked , a bright red flag in even the most basic Bill James analysis. Oh, and by the way, we don't have a second baseman for next season. And don't have much of one for the stretch drive this year either. Despite his remarkable Faustian run over his last 10 starts, does anybody really have any confidence in John Burkett? Aren't we all waiting for the other shoe to drop? And by shoe, I mean eight runs in an inning and a third. Thank goodness he's turned it around or we wouldn't still be clinging to one-game lead in the Wild Card, but he's scheduled to match up against Barry Zito on Tuesday in Oakland. I'm guessing Vegas will have that at right about Things would look more optimistic if the pen that once held the promise of shortening games wasn't so shaky. Our great Scotts have been anything but as Williamson 9. Sauerback has been so bad 2. Was it Morgan Stanley or Goldman Sachs that so grossly inflated Sauerback's value at the trade deadline? And where oh where have the overmatched, bail-out swings against Byung-Hyun Kim's frisbee been? As mysterious as Lowe's struggles are, the sudden solving of B. While he has been largely effective and a significant upgrade over the closer by kamikaze Chad Fox, we hardly knew ye, thankfully , he has not been the lights-out, nail-in-the-coffin closer he was in Arizona. As for Manny Ramirez getting caught stealing with one out, down by two runs and Kevin Millar at the plate or Trot Nixon getting thrown out down by three runs, it's just the latest canto in a divine comedy of horribly unfundamental baseball by these two great players. Both have forgotten the numbers of outs this season - Manny got doubled off in a game against the Yankees, Trot flipped a ball into the stands against the Angels - and both charge around the bases with a total disregard for the situation, a bad habit when you're not very fast. Today's how-not-to-run-the-bases clinic came the day after Johnny Damon cost the team a run and Manny an RBI by getting caught off third on a one-hopper back to the mound. The sad fact is that the Red Sox are a big, mostly slow team of wallbangers with thin starting pitching and a questionable bullpen. A bit long for an epitaph, but I think you get the point. It's like asking Edward Scizzorhands to hold your hemophiliac baby. One hundred twenty-eight pitches? For the second time in three starts? We have two closers, one of whom has a rubber arm. How the hell does Pedro come out for the ninth after pitches? Yes, I agree with the Big Dog, "pitch counts are for wussies," which is exactly why Petey needs to be on one every time out. In case you haven't noticed, Pedro is something of a wussy. He's our wussy, a beautiful, magical, once-in-a-lifetime wussy, but a wussy nonetheless. The only thing more fragile than his shoulder are his feelings. Sure, the 10 no-decisions in 19 starts were a drag, but word on the street was we'd solved our bullpen problems, though Scott Sauerback's 2. With a three-run lead and the spots of the Angels order due up, surely we could have spared Pedro those last 20 high-intensity pitches. And it's not like he was dominating. He had only two innings. For the first five innings Aaron Sele was throwing harder than he was. He needed a spectacular catch from Johnny Damon on a drive to the wall in left center in the seventh and was twice taken high off the monster by David Eckstein. One aborted start later and Petey confirmed that he'd gotten hurt in the Angels came. Still waiting on the apology, Bawb. I'm not saying he's hurt now, but he has definitely been in a funk, where he is forced to battle for every out. These funks are often followed by a trip to the DL, which is much more calamitous than a trip to the DR though perhaps not in all quarters of Red Sox Nation. Does anyone think Pedro has looked sharp lately? In the pitch grind against the Empire? Against Shane Spencer in Arlington? During tonight's nifty hitter? The guy has clearly been laboring. So why, why, why would you not lift him after eight? We're in the middle of a games-indays stretch, no additional rest for Pedro between starts. I don't like it when he flies home between starts not because he's abandoning his teammates but because I can't stop thinking about Roberto Clemente. I also don't like it that Petey has been doing the Steve Carlton thing with the media, because, unlike Lefty, Pedro is a great quote. I really don't like the fact that the bullpen has been tagged for seven losses in his starts. But pitches? Say it ain't so, Gump. In his last three starts Pedro has thrown pitches. He has allowed 32 baserunners in 21 and two-thirds innings over that stretch, a disturbing 1. On Monday he'll face Tim Hudson at Oakland. Hudson watched the ninth inning tonight after throwing pitches through eight. Well, if the Red Sox fall short this season, let me be the first to say, "It's not your fault. And it won't be my fault either. There are members of the Red Sox who have such a hard time looking in the mirror you'd think they were sitting shivah for the entire season. My wife is of the opinion that the Red Sox are so weighed down by the fans' negativity that they simply can't perform under the pressure we put on them. Over the last couple of disappointing seasons, I was starting to think she might have a point. At a time when Sox fan optimism was the highest it's been since - I don't know, Tony Pena took Zane Smith deep in the 13th in '95 or Blistergate in '86 - the Red Sox promptly waded into the four-man buzz saw of Robert Ellis They'll probably lose four straight to the Rangers and Orioles..

Where have you gone, Gene Lamont? How complete is the brain-washing once you drink the Yankee Kool-Aid? When Alex Rodriguez returned to Texas and was roundly booed, announcer Ken Singleton was incredulous.

He simply couldn't understand why the fans were booing a guy who had played so well for the Rangers. Really, Ken? You have no idea? A guy comes to town, usurps so much payroll that the team cannot field a contender, then demands to be traded because the team cannot afford to Red sox boob flash keith foulkes a contender and Ken Singleton and Bobby Murcer just can't understand why the fans are booing.

Given that he is physically incapable of pitching a complete game and usually gets roughed up a little as his fastball inches upward in the early going, what does Bill James think Pedro Martinez is worth at this stage in his career? And what did Terry Francona see in Anaheim that made him think Pedro should go back out for the Red sox boob flash keith foulkes on Wednesday night? Even the pitch he struck out Kotchman with to end the fifth was in a bad spot. Mike Timlin redeemed himself today with three perfect innings after that awful appearance in Anaheim you've got to Red sox boob flash keith foulkes bounce splits against Vlad when he's that hotbut visit web page need Scott Williamson back.

Keeping him was the silver lining to the A-Rod deal falling through. Interesting that three of the five guys in that deal Nomar, Mags, Williamson have been hurt. Crespo jumped from one ribbie every 74 ABs to one every Just noticed that before B. Kim was demoted four of the Sox five starters were named to the All-Star game. Pete and D-Lowe in the A. And yet only one of those guys seems likely to click here this year.

It is, as always, with great trepidation that I declare Red sox boob flash keith foulkes love for this latest edition of the Boston Red Sox.

Sekx Porno Watch Video Video Boboi. You see the post office is not allowed to do that, or so they told me. I want to spend the day bitching and otherwise denigrating the post office but I vaguely recall someone in this office comes from a long line of postmen. Not me. I come from a long line of degenerate, fudge packing priests. Did you see that Baseblogs article in Slate? The one where they mention 35 baseball blogs but not a single one devoted to the Red Sox? Fucking A, right. Thank you God for those dedicated bloggers and their local color. We are united by our mother fucking love of miscellany. Pardon me while I puke into my own mouth. No way. I gave up on the fatuity of talk radio, sports or otherwise, years ago. Smart woman, as that saves you from hearing things like this, and I quote: Well, you know what they say about opinions. Yeah, it's like a newspaper sending someone to cover Wall St and the Federal Reserve who's never taken a course in economics. It's like sending a deaf, dumb, and blind man out to write a movie review …. So who was the hottie you were chatting up at the beer works last night? Looked like you were working it wicked haahhd [laughs]. Still am. There is the question of who I really am, the tiger or the trainer. Am I this caged pulse, this spacing strength and silence, or do I stand around it, calming it endlessly, talking, singing, making whatever noise I can to bring it closer to sleep? Clearly I am the trainer …. And there are moments when you put me to sleep. Then you ought to Bend It Like Beckham! Text messaging! Wicked pissa of an idea. Beckham's got talent with the words. This was my fave: You know, this rain isn't a bad thing at all. When you have significant injuries, postponements are a good thing. Chances are the makeup game, or games if this weather continues as predicted, will occur after Trot and Nomar return. Did you see where the Orioles are going to be fined and possibly have to forfeit a game because of an illegal roster move? And they can't recall anyone to replace Bedard on the roster until Wednesday. Not debilitating, still, you want a full roster in case anything strange happens, like a 13 inning game. Elsewhere in the office, Mike tracks down the new designer, Susan, who has asked that everyone call her 'Circle' …. Still waiting. But you waited yesterday. The SysOps guy should be here. He didn't say for sure he'd come. But said I should wait here. You're merciless. To My Mac? Tied to the Mac! What an idea! No question of it. For the moment. Right, then. So we wait. Continue reading "Nothing you can do about it. Amazing how we can go through the entire hot stove season without baseball, but once the season starts, an off day … well, how's your head? Today there was a dog in the road. He just stood there looking at the oncoming cars. I thought he might bark, but no. He just looked. I felt such a comradery. Myself and this dog, standing our ground in the midst of a brutal foreign routine …. Even SoSH has been quiet. Yes, the big excitement was reading mother fucking Yankees fan Michele go all petulant on our asses. Seen the forecast? Rain, rain, rain. Motherfuck everything but the weather. Let weather come through and through and through. Hey, if Mickelson can get that monkey off his back …. Mickelson mocks the naysayers with his monkey pants … And netted me a pair of sawbucks from the dudes in shipping. Fer crissakes you're not betting with the Salvadorans in shipping again after what happened last time? Er … Just a little bit. And who can bemoan learning how to make and serve pupusas to a hungry band of Salvadorans? True dat. Sandinista , baby. Hey, you talked to the new designer yet? Yeah, she's cool. Big time Sox fan. No, Susan, the new pixel chick … Who the hell is Circle? Susan is Circle. See, quote Susan is her quote governement name as she explains it. Kinda cool, really. Fucking Risdee grad whackos. Ol' man Scrivener's going to love that. I'm probably going to get stuck updating the employee handbook regarding goverment names. David Walkoff Ortiz! I get the chills thinking about that monster blast to end the game. Ortiz makes me feel better than a Demerol breakfast and lots of coffee. I feel good. The way a log in a fire sometimes looks like it must feel good, like it's gotten once and for all past its resistance to the force that means to make it submit to its own physical fact. What do we have here in Malaska? Nice tight spin, big break and right on target well, maybe just a little inside of where he probably wanted it. The look of disbelief on Catalanotto's face was priceless. That-that guy struck me out? Maybe Malaska is what we thought we were getting in Sauerbeck last year? That's why I'm hoping, anyway. Another minion under the thriving banks of fluorescence. Hope she's better than that chick Instawingnut is always shilling. Yeah, "design goddess" but every design looks almost the same … and the notebook spiral background, oh, how cutting edge! Yeah, but have you seen his wife? She's effin' hot! Yeah, if I was with her you'd be calling me the "Insta-Done-It". Another Saturday finds Bill and several of his team at work, trying to appease the taskmaster boss Scrivener and reconcile yesterday afternoon's loss to Toronto …. Why re-call a reliever who is a 1-inning guy? I don't think sending Malaska back out for more batters would be risky. That may be the role that best suits Malaska but he has been a starter in the past. While he isn't stretched out, i don't see him going a second inning to be Heartbreak Hill. OK, wise one, back to your Hiding Place. The Soxaholix eagerly anticipate the 3pm Fenway home opener against Toronto …. Tara, what's the numbers on the Jays? Bill, for all the talk last night about the Red Sox offense being inept , when compared to the Toronto line there's no contest. The only guy we'll see that pitched in the Tigers series is Roy Halladay, and he gave up 6 earned in 6. Historically, the Red Sox have hit Halladay well. Their bullpen has only given up one run, a home run given up by Terry Adams. Pinto really likes Lilly. Lilly career at Fenway: I don't believe that counts his postseason start, though. Sox get all the breaks but leave bags loaded in the 7th and 11!? Women's Basketball Front Page. College Sports Front Page. Hockey Scoreboard. Golf Front Page. Money Leaders. Champions League. World Cup Tennis Front Page. Daily Results. Message Board. Page 2 Front Page. Bill Simmons. SportsNation Front Page. Voice of the Fan. Insider Front Page. MLB Insider. NBA Insider. College Insider. Recruiting Insider. Radio Insider. Fantasy Front Page. Fantasy Football. Fantasy Baseball. Fantasy Basketball. Fantasy Hockey. Keeping him was the silver lining to the A-Rod deal falling through. Interesting that three of the five guys in that deal Nomar, Mags, Williamson have been hurt. Crespo jumped from one ribbie every 74 ABs to one every Just noticed that before B. Kim was demoted four of the Sox five starters were named to the All-Star game. Pete and D-Lowe in the A. And yet only one of those guys seems likely to return this year. It is, as always, with great trepidation that I declare my love for this latest edition of the Boston Red Sox. I know in doing so I have almost certainly guaranteed a four-game losing streak. The Sox are a beguiling and bizarre Frankensquad. Not just any guys either. Trot Nixon finished fifth in the A. Nomar Garciaparra and Bill Mueller have won three batting titles between them. Ramiro Mendoza… okay, not all the injuries have hurt the team. Mark Bellhorn has been such an incredible find that it can now be reasonably suggested that the team will not necessarily be better with the return of the notoriously impatient Garciaparra. I have, however, seen him hit for power to all fields, drilling a gap seemingly every time there are runners in scoring position. Sure, he fans a lot and has a certain je ne sais Todd Walker about him defensively, but it just seems like this guy helps you win. Yet another tip of the cap to Theo. Apparently not. On the other hand, the whole point of playing a slow guy out of position is to enhance your lineup. This is clearly not happening. More speed, more range, better arm, fewer GIDPs. But seriously, Trot, hurry back… that is, if you can hurry back without hurting yourself again. One gets the feeling that for enduring baseball health the perfect offseason training regimen lies somewhere between what Trot does and what Nomar does. Whatever, the dude is — as my buddy Jeff says — nails. But far and away the most thrilling upgrade from last year is the presence of Curt Schilling. We — and our fathers and grandfathers before us - have become so accustomed to bristly, angry, truculent superstars think Ted Williams, Bill Russell, Yaz that it is hard to believe this guy is for real. Intelligent, hard-working, super-prepared, good-humored… and he can pitch! Still say he nibbled against Orlando Hudson before giving up that granny to Chris Gomez. This peppy ditty should be piped into the Red Sox clubhouse 24 hours a day until every member of the team learns to count to three. I can understand losing track of the outs in a late August game between the Tigers and Indians at Comerica. But how the hell do the Red Sox repeatedly drift into vapor lock in critical games against the team we most need to beat? In the span of 11 months, just off the top of my head, the Sox have had four separate outfielders lose track of the number of outs. Two of them have done it twice. In a July series against the Yankees at Fenway, Manny Ramirez was off on the crack of the bat on a routine fly ball, mistakenly thinking there were two outs, and was doubled off to end the inning. Later last season, in a series at Yankee Stadium, Manny thought he had caught the third out and began jogging into the dugout, only to turn around when he saw his teammates laughing at him. This is hilarious. Oh boy, that is funny. Great stuff. So when Pokey Reese sliced a hit toward the right-field corner Kapler played it halfway and was only able to move up to second. At which point first base coach Lynn Jones and third base coach Dale Sveum certainly alerted him to the situation, right? Or did they not know the number of outs either? I mean, seriously, what the hell were the base coaches doing between that brain cramp and the one that immediately followed it. I was thinking about the break I was trying to get off [Kevin] Brown. I was focusing on him and I wasn't thinking of anything else. I never figured out there were two outs. I got to the dugout and Tito [Francona] said it was going to take eight hits to score me. And he was probably right. Oh, this just gets funnier and funnier! How about fines for Kapler, Sveum and Jones? This Little League crap must stop. Was any Red Sox fan surprised that our fragile former ace got shelled in bad weather on four days rest against the Orioles or that our workload-loving sinkerballer got shelled on 10 days rest against the Yankees? As a longtime baseball man surely Francona understands that sinkerballers thrive on work. The rest of the staff went more or less on schedule. Why the rush to bring Pedro back on four days rest? If, as has been suggested, it was to avoid the circus atmosphere of having Pete pitch against the Yankees, then we are still letting the Evil Empire dictate what we do. As stupid as it would be to move Pedro up to pitch against the Yankees, it is just as dumb to move him up to miss the Yankees. I would like Derek Jeter to show us on a K-Zone diagram any location where a called third strike would not send him into a crying fit. Twice over the weekend he got punched out on pitches right down the middle and broke into his whining, head-shaking, supremely arrogant tantrum. Maybe he should sit down in the video room with Mike Mussina and Kevin Brown and see if they would expect to get those pitches. Or is Jeter implying that the double standard that applies to the Yankees in all other facets of Major League Baseball should also apply to the strike zone? The sad thing is that we finally had a goalie who looked like he could carry a team to the Cup. But Hal Gill got walked by Alexei Kovalev and no one found Richard Zednick and no one could make a play and… well, that will be a bad taste to swish around throughout the lockout. They're No Angels Too Bad. As anyone who knows me can attest, I am prone to irrational overreaction immediately after Opening Day losses. Which is why I waited two full days - and for a victory - before writing off this season. Last year, when Chad Fox coughed up a lead in the bottom of the ninth on a three-run homer by Carl Crawford in a loss to the D-Rays, I went into full Chicken Little mode, telling anyone who would listen that we had no bullpen, our manager was an idiot and the season was over. In my defense, two of those three statements were true. The bullpen was awful and the manager, well, you know. In fact, isn't it ironic - or tragic - that when the bullpen became one of our strengths in the playoffs, the idiot refused to Two years ago, after a loss to the Blue Jays at Fenway, I not only declared the season a bust, I insisted that Pedro's career was over. He proceeded to go over the next two years. But this year is different. You see, in and I had very high hopes that felt dashed on Opening Day. Curt Schilling and Keith Foulke are major upgrades, but everywhere else are ominous warning signs. After a charmed year in the health department, that fluky, freaky injury pendulum is swinging back violently. Trot's back, Nomar's Achilles and B. And as the radar readings sink, so, too, must the Sword of Damocles Dr. Andrews' scalpel that hovers by a thread over the most closely monitored rotator cuff in New England. Indeed, Pedro has a look of resignation that suggests his next trip to the DL may be more like 15 months than 15 days. Bill Mueller's elbow is bothering him, leading to a couple of throws at the end of spring training that evoked the traumatizing Summer of Hobson when Butchy made 43 errors in Speaking of whom, does Johnny Damon look a step slow this year? And does anyone think Mueller can repeat his phenomenal season? Or Mike Timlin? Will Pokey Reese hit. Does Ellis Burks have anything left, even in a supporting role? And what of the Toxic Twins and their anger? Nomar, perhaps rightfully, hasn't stopped seething since The Deal first came up, and one has to wonder as he nurses yet another tendon injury not only what Jack McDowell would say about Nomie but whether he'll be in a huge rush to come back. And Pedro - who ardently believes contracts should be based on past performance and not a realistic view of the future - will probably never be happy in Boston again. What do we do with these guys? Hope the savings was worth it. So, yes, I think that despite the addition of that uber-classy stud Schilling and a reliable closer, this season will ultimately be a big disappointment. But I reserve the right to be wrong. Meet the New Hate. I love baseball. I really, really love baseball. But my love of baseball is not an irrational, do-something-I'll-regret-later kind of love. That kind of love I reserve specifically for the Red Sox. For instance, the chair had not even impacted on the far wall of my apartment and I was already regretting it when I snapped during a regular-season game in after Pedro Martinez hit Steve Cox with a curveball with the bases loaded. It wasn't forcing in the run so much as knowing Petey was about to go on the DL, though forcing in a run against the D-Rays was depressing in its own right. I also regretted it shortly after running down to the railing to scream at Jimy Williams as he walked back to the dugout after leaving Pedro in too long in a game in Anaheim - what is with these managers who know so much less about Pedro's limitations than we do? I didn't regret letting Williams know what I thought of his decision, but my scream was so blood-curtling that I actually injured my larynx and had to sit quietly for the rest of the game. Again, I was thrilled that we could salute our team, but bummed that our exuberance got one very nice PR lady yelled at by her boss. Still, as worrisome as it can be, it is not my love of the Sox and the concomitant repercussions that have me worried. It's hate. Call it the New Hate, a lot like the old hate, only stronger, more violent. A serious strain, this new virus has spread beyond the Bronx, to the player union's office, the commissioner's office and deep into the heart of Texas. I now feel perfectly capable of punching Gene Orza in the face if given the opportunity. What did William Ligue get for attacking Tom Gamboa? That would be a great phone call. My friend T. Listen, that's not the point, can you bail me out or not? That's what I'm afraid of. Though, on a more rational point, I really would like to hear from Gene Orza how having A-Rod in New York is going to help his union in the long term. Is it good for the workers at Chevrolet if Ford gobbles up more market share? Won't a hyper-concentration of talent in one city reduce gate receipts among the competition and lead to fewer employers able to pay high wages? But I'm probably being naive. Orza was in all likelihood "gotten to" by someone from the Empire. I mean once George Steinbrenner was convicted of a felony for illegal campaign contributions to his friend Richard Nixon - who, you may remember, was himself willing to go to extremes to subvert democracy - would anything surprise us? I wonder who George's Howard Spira is these days. The New Hate is powerful and I only hope, if I'm ever in a room with Orza, I have the good sense to merely spill a drink on him and not break his nose. And just when I thought it wouldn't be possible to hate Bud Selig anymore I mean, seriously, why would he even sit down with that remorseless scumbag Pete Rose? Anyone remember listening to that whiny brat Steinbrenner complain about having to subsidize teams for their own ineptitude? Well now he has one of those inept teams subsidizing his team so substantially that it will cover his luxury tax fees, meaning all the revenue from increased ticket sales is just more gravy for that fat felon to splash around in. And, by the way, doesn't the mere fact that the Yankees could actually double ticket sales upon acquiring A-Rod after finishing in first for six straight seasons say something about New York as a sports town? As for that other venal billionaire, here's hoping that one of the many line drives Chan Ho Park gives up this year finds the owner's box and Tom Hicks's temple. If he avoids that fate, he will almost certainly be showered with obscenities for fielding yet another in a long line of last-place teams while bundling money off to New York to help the Yankees in their quest to end their three-year - heavens! Hick's campaign contributions to George W. Bush have paid off. Though he has not as yet been charged with or convicted of a felony for any of those contributions. The New Hate, of course, includes the old hate, which means I hate anyone in pinstripes. So, yes, I now hate Alex Rodriguez, the class act who did everything he could to get to Boston. Had Orza allowed the move, A-Rod would be wearing No. I would have loved him, irrationally so. But now I hate him irrationally. And whereas I used to draw the line at rooting for career-ending injuries, well, let's just say little would make me happier than penning Ode to a Sprinklerhead if A-Rod were to take a misstep and never be the same. I understand the karmic implications of this kind of thinking, especially with Pedro roughly 20 times as likely to break down, that's what makes it all so freakin' irrational. This is the New Hate. I'm not proud of it. The Idiot Which should be sometime around noon tomorrow. I mean, even Antonio Scalia couldn't vote to execute someone this stupid. Call him Gradio, the well-meaning, retarded man-child who would be nice to have around if he weren't actually making the decisions. Oh, but that's right, he didn't make the decision tonight. He left it up to his ebbing ace. What the hell does he think Pedro is going to say? If it's the pitcher's decision then the manager should just sit in the dugout until the pitcher signals him with a "no mas" wave of the arms above the head. When it mattered most, Grady pushed the biggest decision of his career onto the fragile shoulders of his little ace. Tonight Grady Little was Steinbeck's sweet Lennie Small, a confused half-wit squeezing the life out of our team as he tried to squeeze two more outs out of his half-dead starter. He was Billy Budd, stammering with apoplexy as the circumstances closed in around him. He was Faulkner's Benjy, telling his idiotic tale, full of sound and fury, signifying the end of our season. He was Charley clumsily stepping on Algernon's trachea. He was, in the end, a tragic character, a pathetic ass who had no business being put into this spotlight or subjected to this pressure. If ever a guy was born to manage in Visalia, this is the dude. The players may love him for his chummy, pat-ya-on-the-back style, but it was their championship that he tossed away by not having the stuff when it was needed. That stuff, of course, was Alan Embree's 97 mph fastball, which sat idly in the pen until the score was tied before being brought in to explode Jason Giambi's bat. But you know all that. The point is Grady wanted to win tonight, but he was just too damned stupid to figure out the best way - or the second best way - to make that happen. Should we condemn a man who doesn't know right from wrong? Should we crucify a slack-jawed huckleberry for being in over his head? Should we hunt the drooling goober down and stab him with our steely knives? No, firing him - or, rather, not picking up his option - will do. So put away your torches and pitch forks, let the bewildered beast leave in peace. We Shall Overcome Our Manager. There are many small minds in Red Sox Nation. But, sadly, none smaller than the one making the in-game decisions. The financial genius who owns the team and the boy genius who put the team together - like us - must just sit and watch in horror as Grady drives this cherry sports car with all the care of a coked-up valet. The irony, of course, is that as graduates of the Bill James-Sandy Alderson-Billy Beane Academy of Winning Baseball, the Sox' brain trust has done everything it can to remove almost all decision-making from the trembling hands of the manager. We have the greatest lineup in baseball history. Put it out there every day. Make their pitchers get 27 outs. Don't bunt. Don't run. This is the well-established formula. Sure, it needs some tweaks here and there - like, don't pitch Scott Sauerbeck if the game is still within reach, for example. But all their efforts at idiot-proofing this wonderful team are often laid to waste by one of Grady's bizarre decisions. When asked why he didn't bunt Gabe Kapler with runners on first and second and nobody out in the second inning Thursday night, Grady answered, "We didn't get to this point where we are now by moving runners that early in the ballgame. We're not going to start now. That's right, Grady. Good, Grady. We don't move runners early in the game. Perhaps Grady had forgotten that he did move a runner early in the game, sending Kapler on a pitch to Bill Mueller despite the fact that Kapler had about a inch lead against Andy Pettitte and couldn't break for second until the ball was about 20 feet out of Pettitte's hand. We all know what happened. Mueller took a borderline pitch for strike three, Kapler was thrown out by 20 feet, six of the next seven batters reached and we came away with one run. That's right, seven of the first nine Red Sox batters reached base and we scored one freakin' run! Good going, Grady. Here is why Grady's sending Kapler was so typically idiotic: The advantages of moving the runner are almost totally eliminated if the runner can't get a jump and the risks are magnified. Had Mueller hit a double-play ball, it was still going to be a double play. A line drive at somebody - double play. A strikeout - double play. Grady is so completely incapable of conducting the simplest risk-benefit analysis, it defies comprehension how this guy got to the Big Leagues. Sure, he's a great back-slapper, an avuncular chum, a perfect fourth for cards or a fishing trip. But I've never seen a worse strategist, particularly given how little strategy this team demands. Why can't the GM make the in-game decisions? Grady is also the only guy in Red Sox Nation who has yet to realize that Damian Jackson is a terrible defensive player. Bad hands and bad instincts do not a defensive replacement make. Especially when the admittedly poor defensive player he's replacing is the team's hottest hitter. The three most notable things Damian Jackson has done in the playoffs are: So negative they'll drive through the night to see their team turn in a heartless effort, lowlighted by another slump-shouldered road loss for Sir Sulk. No, the players can point fingers - Todd Jones certainly wasn't the first - but if they fade this year, it won't be the demanding fans or the probing writers that are to blame. Nor will it be the front office. Nor the idiot manager. Then again, it might not be the players' fault either. It might just be that the Yankees, A's and Mariners are a little bit better, which would be a bummer but not a huge shock. During today's rain delay I took advantage of The Package to watch the Mariners crush the white hot White Sox for the second day in a row and the A's and Yankees lock up in a brilliant duel. As we look ahead to 14 straight against the A's and Mariners and then a home-and-home with the Yankees, I can't say I feel real confident right now that we can win 10 of these 20 games. Our rotation looks to be made up of a fragile ace, three Nos. The A's have three No. The M's would seem to have an ace Pineiro , two No. So maybe it'll be no one's fault if we come up short, just a very good team edged out by three slightly better teams and a system that rewards the mediocre AL Central winner with a playoff spot. But if it's no one's fault, whose name will I be cursing when I throw a chair across my living room if we don't make it? OK, Seriously Ramiro Mendoza's ERA is 6. I didn't see his starts against the Yankees or Blue Jays that apparently earned him a second start against the Blue Jays four earned runs and a start against the D-Rays seven earned runs and a start against the Rangers seven earned runs , but this guy clearly sucks. He has a C- sinker and a D curve. Try getting Major Leaguers out with that repertoire. The truth is that Mendoza has always been hit fairly hard except for a couple of double-play ground balls against the Red Sox in crucial spots. So now we pay doubly by giving away games at the end of July in the feeble hope that he'll recapture some magic that only existed in a couple of isolated moments against us. Not good, brain trust. But somehow Mendoza remains on the roster. Watching Mendoza pitch makes one wonder, what are the numbers when a position player is forced to the mound? Could Jose Oquendo be worse than this guy? Of Mendoza's pathetic tenure with the Townies, I will say only this: His body language matches his performance. Maybe it looks different from the on-deck circle or the dugout or the seats behind home plate, but on the centerfield TV camera it looks like Mendoza has nothing. No bite, no pop, no drop, nothing. All season. Nobody ever takes an uncomfortable swing against this guy. The margin here is razor thin. If Ramiro "bet the over" Mendoza makes one more start for the Red Sox, they will not make the playoffs. Freddy Garcia would make us the best team in baseball. The gap between Mendoza and the Big Chief is why I can't sleep. Mueller Vexes Pitchers. Has Shea Hillenbrand figured out why he was traded yet? He will if he reads the morning papers. Right after he learns that he's been joined on the D-Backs by fellow free swinger Raul Mondesi, Hillenbrand will undoubtedly find a blurb about the history-making night of Bill Mueller. Until tonight Mueller had perfected the art of playing as well as humanly possible without anyone seeming to notice. Even his manager still has him batting down in the order despite an OPS that is hundreds of points higher than Todd Walker's. And despite his phenomenal production some fans still subject his name to a cringe-inducing mispronunciation. For the first games of the season, Mueller had been content to nose ahead of fellow good guy Kevin Millar for the team's 10th Player Award. Of course being fourth in the league is only good enough for third on the team, since Manny Ramirez and Trot Nixon are behind Carlos Delgado. Unlike Manny and Trot, however, Mueller has yet to forget how many outs there were in an inning. Fourth in the league in OPS! Sixty-six points ahead of A-Rod! It's just nuts. Mueller has 52 extra-base hits in at-bats, a staggering one-every Delgado goes for extra bases once every 6. Mueller is second in the league in hitting, third in doubles and fifth in slugging. Mueller has made nine errors on an infield voted the worst in the American League by the players. And unofficially, Mueller leads the league in pitch at-bats. He is also last in the league in self-promotion. His reaction to making history tonight: Some questions: Though this season is unlike anything Mueller has ever done in the big leagues, his OBP coming into this season was. The answer may be that if Walker were hitting eighth and playing his typically brutal second base, it would force Grady to take a long look at Damian Jackson being the team's starting second baseman, a move the sinkerballers in the rotation would no doubt welcome. With Walker hitting second and the wildly inconsistent Johnny Damon leading off, the Sox have the odd statistical quirk of having a team. It doesn't really make sense, does it? There's an announcement in the offing, right? The guy was hitting 95 on the gun tonight as he maintained his spectacularly bad 2. Every Red Sox fan goes through it: Watch and they lose. I'm in one of those funks now. On the road and away from my beloved MLB package, I've been largely reduced to following the team on the ESPN News ticker, on slow-speed dial-up Internet and in this quaint-but-fun-in-a-retro-way medium called a newspaper. So while the Sox were shellacking David Wells and the Evil Empire for seven home runs I was getting eaten by mosquitoes and making inane wedding small talk with my wife's not-into sports friends. On Saturday - after going 5-for-5 against my wife's not-into-sports friends in the worst softball game I've ever participated in - I was driving back to New York City, the base of operations for the Summer of Love Tour, assuming I'd missed a thorough ass-kicking in the Bronx as Ramiro Mendoza made his return as a starter. But no, I'd missed my single favorite result in all of sports: Roger Clemens getting shelled. I knew I'd be attending the game on Sunday and I knew John Burkett was pitching, but from the highlights I was seeing on Baseball Tonight I had reason for optimism, right? I mean, even if Burkett got slapped around, I'd still get to see the most fearsome lineup in baseball against the rather average Andy Pettitte. At this point I didn't yet realize that I was in the they-only-win-when-I-don't-watch funk. Well, you all know what happened. We turned Pettitte into Sandy Koufax and Curtis Pride hit a home run to dead center as we got crushed, As we filed out of the Stadium, the impressive number of Red Sox fans were all patting each other on the back and assuring one another that we'd take three of four with Pedro going on Monday though privately we all knew what a freakin' struggle it always is to get a win for Petey against the Empire. I watched Monday's game in its entirety on the YES network. With each inning the Yankees seemed to add a chubbier, older, more broken-down player to their defensive alignment and still the Sox could not scratch out a second run for Pedro. I was just about to rethink my whole position on the importance of defense when Todd Walker made his game-ending boot. And that's when I fired off my "Losing Formula" tirade, in the throes of an agonizing loss, unmitigated by the warmer feelings I no doubt would have had for the team had I actually watched Friday and Saturday's games. As it went to extras tied at , I realized this was precisely the kind of game that I had declared in my tirade the Red Sox never win. I was back in the familiar position of desperately wanting to be wrong, and - thanks to an incredible performance by the bullpen I had just ripped and some clutch hitting from Jason Varitek - I was not only wrong but spectacularly wrong. Still, I hadn't seen so much as one pitch as it happened. Trot Nixon led off with a double and Todd Walker and David Ortiz drove in runs as the boys jumped out to a lead. I started to believe that I was actually going to get to see the Red Sox win a game for the first time since I left Los Angeles on June Yes, the only other game I had seen since leaving L. But then Derek Lowe started doing his turf thing , 9. My lovely bride is now suggesting we go to this Italian place up the street for dinner I turn off the game and take my wife to dinner. Oh cruel fate, why do you mock me so? I've barely touched down in front of the midnight Baseball Tonight when they show Ortiz driving in Manny and Kim freezing tormented Eric Hinske to cap the comeback. Had I watched the entire game, perhaps I would have remembered all the other amazing comebacks this team has had this season. Despite all the jangled nerves and incredible gacks, hasn't this team been the most fun to watch in all of baseball? Doesn't it seem to be comprised of great guys? Isn't our GM a sage? But when your team has been outscored in the last two-and-a-half games you've watched, sometimes it's hard to remember just how good they are. And surely I wouldn't regret not being able to watch tonight's game: Once again I did the YES thing - as the Indians took two of three - with frequent flips to the ticker to see if the Sox could complete their first road sweep of the season. With Mueller, Millar and Ortiz in the lineup and me not watching, was there any doubt? Early this season a friend asked me if I would not watch a single pitch of the Red Sox season if it would guarantee them a World Series title. Of course. But I would reserve the right to tell my wife that I was doing it for her. As I've been trying to tell you all along, I love this team. The Losing Formula. The individual images will blur. Was it Chad Fox who gave up a three-run game-losing homer on Opening Day? Was it Rudy Seanez who became the third Red Sox pitcher to blow a save in a spectacular inning loss to the Phillies? Did Brandon Lyon really surrender a game-losing home run on an pitch? In the endless chronicle of Red Sox collapses, this season will stand out for the sheer volume of phenomenal, incomprehensible, inexcusable losses. This team is threatening to undo 30 years of exhaustive, compelling and heretofore useful research by Bill James. As the closer-by-committee philosophy was argued in spring training, Mr. James averred that a team leading by three runs in the ninth will win 98 percent of the time though presumably that statistic was built on the arms of Messrs. Sutter, Eckersley, Hoffman, et al. On Opening Day, Monday March 31st , leading the lowly Devil Rays entering the ninth, Red Sox Nation learned once again what Professors Stanley and Schiraldi had already taught us, that it does, in fact, matter who exactly is attempting to record these last three outs. Alan Embree a two-run gopher ball to Terry Shumpert and Fox a three-run walk-off to Carl Crawford combined to cough up five runs and promptly account for one of those twice-in-a-hundred losses. By James's account - and our own fan's intuition - that loss should have stood as the worst we would suffer all year. Oh that it were so. Instead, what we thought was a statistical rarity, a quirk, a glitch was just a taste of things to come. Saturday April 5th - Squandering another superb outing by Pedro, the Sox bats go silent against a collection of mediocre Orioles pitchers and Grady Little has Chad Fox issue an intentional walk to load the bases in the bottom of the ninth, setting up Tony Batista's walk-off walk in a Sox loss. Walking Batista is only slightly less difficult than surrendering a home run to Carl Crawford, who wouldn't hit his second of the season until July. Monday May 5th - Leading Kansas City in the bottom of the ninth, Lyon gives up two hits and a walk to load the bases but still has a shot to preserve the win if he can retire Desi Relaford. Lyon drills Relaford to force in the tying run then watches as Nomar lets Brent Mayne's grounder nutmeg him for the game-losing error, his second of the game. Sunday May 11th - This loss at Minnesota is one of the few soul-crushing defeats not directly attributable to the bullpen. Rather, it is low-lighted by a baserunning gaffe by Trot Nixon and a spectacular error by Jeremy Giambi in left field with the bases loaded. After dropping a routine fly ball, Giambi proceeds to kick and bobble the ball across the Twinkiedome turf, assuring us in one long humiliating sequence that, no, he can't play that position either. Friday May 16th - Robert Person and Embree help blow a lead in this heartbreaker to the Angels, though it can't be said Embree pitches poorly, since by allowing only one run in his inning of work his ERA holds steady at 9. The game is bookended by Todd Walker failing to cover second on a grounder to short in the first and Embree failing to get to first on a grounder to the right side during the game-winning rally. Saturday May 17th - Though the final would be thanks to a three-run ninth off Lyon, the Angels win this game off Mike Timlin in the eighth with a colossal two-run homer by Troy Glaus. The gopher ball spoils a terrific bounce-back outing by Derek Lowe. Wednesday May 28th - Our annual gift to the Yankees. For the second straight year Grady opts to walk the bases loaded to bring up Jorge Posada currently fifth in the AL in BBs , setting the stage for the inevitable and thrilling walk-off walk. This time Lyon does the honors on a close pitch, undoing the incredible four-run comeback the team had mounted off Mariano Rivera in the top of the ninth. Of course the Yankees wouldn't have had a runner on third if not for a bizarre, halfhearted throw from Manny Ramirez to nobody in particular. Thursday June 5th - A loss to the lowly Pirates that began with an error by David Ortiz on a ball that was barely moving when it clanked off his glove and ended with Ramiro Mendoza giving up the winning run. The most remarkable thing about this game is that despite giving up a run in an inning and a third Mendoza lowered his ERA to 7. Friday June 6th - Though a loss to Milwaukee can hardly be considered a heartbreaker, it deserves mention for the amazing performance by call-up Hector Almonte, who enters a tie game and surrenders five earned runs before being pulled. After the game, Grady Little says he was "impressed" by Almonte. Gump must have been downright mesmerized to leave him in that long as a nailbiter became a laugher. Tuesday June 10th - An incredible loss to the Cardinals in which Seanez and Lyon continue the deflating trend - begun by Embree and Fox in the opener - of multiple Red Sox relievers each giving up multiple runs. This game also gives us new pitching coach Dave Wallace's first trip to the mound to settle down Byung-Hyun Kim, making his first start in Fenway. Wallace talks, Kim nods and J. Drew launches the next pitch for a three-run homer. Thursday June 12th - Another strong nominee for loss of the year as the Sox bow in 13 innings to the Cardinals. Embree, Lyon and Mendoza endure a meltdown progression as Embree is touched for a single run, Lyon surrenders his now-standard two-spot and Mendoza gets whacked around for three. Monday June 16th - Yet another strong outing by Pedro goes by the boards as Ryan Rupe adds his name to a truly undistinguished list by giving up a game-winning three-run home run to Joe Crede. Bill James, what is the non-expansion Major League record for most pitchers in their first season with a team taking a loss? The Red Sox have had losses from 10 different pitchers in their first season with the team. Saturday June 21st - The loss of the new millennium. Once again Pedro turns in an outstanding start and once, twice, thrice again the Red Sox bullpen throws it all away. Timlin yields a game-tying bomb to Thome in the eighth. Jason Shiell gives up a game-tying bomb to Thome in the 12th. And Seanez serves up Todd Pratt's first home run of the season to dead center, turning a lead into a loss. Saturday June 28th - If teams - on average - blow a three-run ninth-inning lead only twice per opportunities, then how often do they blow a seven-run eighth-inning lead? Again, this year's Red Sox bullpen has created entirely new columns for Bill James's actuarial tables. Leading against the Marlins after seven, the Sox lose as Lyon gives up four runs in the ninth, erasing that magical three-run "easy save" lead. Just by virtue of this team's efforts that 98 percent mark must be down to 97 percent by now. And, yes, Mike Lowell's game-winning three-run jack does come on an pitch from Lyon who should be flown to Chicago by Manny to pitch in next week's Home Run Derby. Tuesday July 1st - Lyon finds a new way to lose, this time bowing to the D-Rays as his not-that-errant pickoff throw eludes Nomar and rolls into center field, allowing Rocco Baldelli to score from second. The Sox had Baldelli picked off and should have been headed for the bat rack, but Lyon's poor throw and Nomar's momentary lapse in concentration - a Major League shortstop has got to keep that ball on the infield - added up to another brutal one-run loss. For some inexplicable reason Lyon was left in to pitch to Al Martin in the eighth. Maybe Grady felt comfortable because Martin hadn't homered all season. He has now. Martin's two-run shot ties the game and sets the stage for Timlin to surrender the losing run in the bottom of the ninth. Monday July 7th - Even the Yankees announcers - such inveterate yes men that they actually named the network YES - have to admit that the infield of Giambi and Zeile at the corners and Wilson and Ventura up the middle is probably the slowest in big league history. Throw in Karim Garcia in left and Hideki Matsui in center and one would think that the Red Sox could find a patch of grass somewhere to land a base hit. But these are the Red Sox, the kings of the victory followed by a one-run loss. A team that could outscore the Cardinals and lose two of three. A team that can blast you over the first two games of a four-game series and only earn a split because they can't come up with one clutch hit, one good at-bat, one good swing when it matters. A team with a shortstop who could threaten total bases but spends four days in New York grounding out and popping up first pitch after first pitch. And a team, of course, with a depressing collection of journeymen on the pitching staff. Kim, the proposed solution to the back end of the bullpen problem, takes the loss in this one, as he gives up an base hit, a base hit and hits a batter to set the stage for Walker's game-losing error, his 11th of the season, a staggering total for a second baseman with no range. And, yes, he's probably the only second baseman in the game who doesn't get a glove on Giambi's game-tying hit. And, yes, Giambi was struck out on that pitch. And, no, the Red Sox never win these games. And, no, teams stacked with hitters but lacking pitching depth and defense don't win anything significant. It's a losing formula. On this, we can all agree with Bill James. Would You Rather Be in Philadelphia? Sure, we just slipped out of first again as Jose Contreras won his second straight start and our ace is broken down and a certified paranoiac. But it could be worse. No, not worse than John Burkett or Ramiro Mendoza. It doesn't get worse than these guys. But it could be worse overall. No, not worse than our defense on the right side. That doesn't get any worse. Not in the Majors anyway. I mean, if it's possible to cost your team a win on the first batter of the game, David Ortiz did it. Ortiz made a brutal error on just about the lowest-degree-of-difficulty ground ball that can possibly be hit to an infielder, not too hard, just a step off the bag. It's the kind of ground ball a coach would hit at the start of infield, a soft little warmup before the harder stuff comes. But Ortiz, who would also post a feeble oh-fer at the dish, managed to get handcuffed by the cuddly grounder, opening the door for two runs in what would be a one-run loss. Not that this play was any more aesthetically grotesque than Kevin Millar's "throw" behind Derek Lowe the previous evening. Every time I watch one of these guys play first I wonder to myself, "Could Dick Stuart really have been this bad? We could be Phillies fans. At least the Red Sox are right where they should be with this roster maybe even a little better. But the Phillies are somehow just three games over. And where has this gotten them? After tonight's cataclysmic choke against the Mariners, the Phillies are nine games behind the Braves, a team that lost three-fifths of its starting rotation in the winter. You had to see tonight's loss to believe it. Will our children believe there was a world before the MLB package? Jose Mesa turned a lead in the ninth into a deficit faster than you can say, "Chad Fox. And then the real fun began. We all knew what we were getting with Manny Ramirez. We saw those stats with the Indians, salivated and agreed to look past all the reports out of Cleveland that he would drive us crazy. In fact, if you remember, part of the reason the Tribe front office wasn't broken-hearted to see him go was that Manny missed 44 games his last year on Lake Erie with a hamstring injury that no one else thought was bad enough to keep him sidelined. So now, in his third spectacular season in Boston, he misses four games with Pharyngitis - and is benched for a fifth - and the guy becomes Public Enemy No. It's as if he didn't run out a one-hopper back to the mound. Mon Dieu! Blame Manny! Tim Wakefield hits Nick Johnson with an pitch then walks Jason Giambi after being ahead in the disastrous first inning of an loss. But Wakefield is a gamer so The team wins a thriller in Philly on Trot Nixon's grand slam. The Orioles fall to against the A's after being swept by the Mariners. We have lost our minds. Everyone is piling on. That's right, burn all your possessions, lest the ex-wife get them in the settlement. Scorch the earth. Everyone needs to calm down and accept a few facts: Maybe every single Red Sox fan would bounce back more quickly from a high fever and a sore throat and be back on the job the next day. I'm sure the hardhats on the Big Dig are furious at Manny and Pedro for being overpaid, budget-busting malingerers. Manny should have pinch hit on Monday. He should have made his doctor's appointment, though why Dr. Morgan wasn't going to the hotel in the first place is beyond me. He should have stayed in his room Saturday night. But none of that changes the fact that the man had a nasty bug and deserved a little slack. Not as much as he took, maybe, but a little. He may wander off the bag without calling time. He may forget the number of outs and get doubled off. He may throw to the wrong base, or, sometimes, no base at all. But the dude can rake. We need to understand that it doesn't matter if Manny misses a week because he's sick or misses a week to go chase butterflies. If the guy plays in games, he improves your chances of winning considerably. Should there be a double-standard for Manny? Only if you seriously want to win a championship. If this is too much for Johnny Damon to bear, he can take his mediocre OBP and his thalidomide throwing arm somewhere else. Strict Freudians, of course, believe all behavior can be traced back to the mother. Milk was scarce in Santo Domingo so Manny was weaned late. Who among us wouldn't hold the bottle and cradle the back of his head if it could guarantee a 3-for-4 with a pair of RBIs? I say, we accept that Manny is occasionally lazy, sometimes stupid and always goofy, then praise the heavens that none of those things have very much to do with hitting a baseball. Eyes on the prize, eyes on the prize. The Bad and the Ugly. Last night's loss to the Blue Jays was a three-hour-andminute desecration of everything that is holy and sacred about baseball. How could so much ugly exist in one game? How could one horrible loss be made up of so many awful, nauseating moments? Atrocious umpiring, inept baserunning, spastic fielding, unconscionable basecoaching, daft managing There were, of course, plenty of physical mistakes, many of them served up by that tag-team duo of Sauerback and Williamson. From vaunted to haunted, these two acquisitions have been spectacularly bad. Sauerback 5. It's hard to believe how awful these guys have been. I suspect neither has ever had a stretch like this in his career. Nice timing, fellas. But the killer for me, natch, is the raft of mental mistakes the team made. Bill Mueller getting doubled off second to squelch the fourth-inning rally on a routine liner to Orlando Hudson was at least uncharacteristic. He clearly got a bad read on the ball, thought it was hit harder than it was and was thinking about scoring. But in that situation - with Manny Ramirez on deck - he has to "see the line drive through. But it was the play before that that really infuriated me. Blue Jays starter Mark Hendrickson had allowed seven consecutive batters to reach base when Todd Walker came to the plate with runners on first and second and no one out. The guy simply could not get an out. So what do we do? We bunt the ball right back to him in a moment of tender mercy but terrible baseball. How long has Moneyball been in stores? How long has Bill James been publishing? Do we need more data on the sagacity of the fourth-inning sacrifice bunt in a slugfest with a pitcher on the ropes? Why would you ever hand that guy one of the three outs he needs to survive the inning? I don't know which rocket scientist decided to bunt - Walker or Grady Little - but it was a terrible play and a terrible bunt and plain stupid. Editor's note: Walker was the rocket scientist. That said, Walker outdid himself in the seventh when he broke into his Cadillac trot on a ball that - surprise! Jays skipper Carlos Tosca and I both think Walker got thrown out at second despite his desperate post-jog dash. The question is, How can a guy who hasn't hit a home run in a plate appearances be so sure a ball is gone? And what is the danger of running hard until you see the ump signal home run? Not looking cool? In the name of Timo Perez see World Series , why not run hard? Trust me, Todd, nothing could be as embarrassing as your defense, not even your. Tell me again how this guy helps your team. But the absolutely most unforgivable decision of the night was made by Mike Cubbage, who once again proved he has no idea what he's doing as our third base coach. Trailing with runners on first and second and nobody out, Cubby sent Manny Ramirez on Doug Mirabelli's soft liner to center. Thankfully, Vernon Wells, too, was momentarily stunned by Cubbage's fundamental lack of understanding of how the bases should be run in certain situations. Manny made a deft slide, swiping his hand across the back of the plate as Greg Myers just missed him with a sweep tag. But how, oh how, can you send Manny there, down by six runs with nobody out? Go ahead, make the argument. Just because we got away with it, doesn't mean it was the right thing to do. If anything this will embolden Cubbage to make similarly bad decisions. Can you imagine if Wells comes up throwing right away? Manny gets gunned down at home plate - breaks a finger? Cubby, please, I'm begging you. If there's nobody out - never mind the huge deficit - that guy has got to be able to score standing for you to send him. In a season that has had this team's limited baseball I. You can't always throw your curveball for a strike. You can't always hit a slider. But you can always make your first step back to the bag on a line drive with less then two out. You can always run hard until you're sure the ball has left the park. You can always know the number of outs there are a bunch of guys obligated to tell you if you're not sure. The prospect of missing the playoffs for failing to follow these simple tenets of baseball is like losing a golf major for signing the wrong scorecard. It just cannot happen. Dear Orioles: Thanks for Nothing. Remember those pesky Orioles who took five of seven from the Sox over two weekends, including three of four in Fenway? The team that made every play, every pitch and got every clutch hit? The team that was destined to blow past Toronto and disrupt the six years running finish of the AL East? One week later, you wouldn't recognize them. All the O's have done since leaving their hearts and bats in Boston is get swept by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and lose the first three games of a four-game series to the Yankees despite leading in the seventh inning or later of all three games. Last night's loss established a new low of laying down for the Yankees. One night after Jorge Julio blew a ninth-inning lead by getting torched for four runs - three courtesy a home run by Aaron. I mean, this was something out of the World Series. Only nothing this egregious happened in the World Series. The O's were between five and 10 feet from tying the score in the bottom of the 12th inning when Jack Cust - an adult male who makes his living as a professional athlete - fell flat on his face, allowing Boone to tag him as he lay supine for the game's final out. This replay has to be seen to be believed. The Yankees had botched a rundown so completely that Cust was running home and no one was covering the plate. All he had to do was, well, not fall down. This isn't Zola Budd and Mary Decker getting tangled up. This isn't Kevin Dyson getting tackled on the one-yard line. This is a pro baseball player with nothing between him and the plate but humidity who simply fell down. When last we saw Jack Cust, he was adding his name to the long list of American Leaguers who have extra base hits off Jeff Suppan since his return to the Sox. The list: As incomprehensible as this sounds, Jeff Suppan has given up 15 extra-base hits in 16 and a third innings since we threw away next season's starting second baseman for him. Cust ripped two of those extra-base hits off Suppan - and homered off Mariano Rivera last night to make it interesting. True, the O's sure have found interesting ways to lose to the Yankees. None more interesting than last night. Do you remember the woman who collapsed in the L. Coliseum at the end of the marathon at the '84 Olympics? Her body was failing, she became incontinent, totally disoriented and had to fight through a series of full-body seizures to drag herself across the finish line. That's what Cust looked like, except that he had run less than feet and didn't make it to the finish line. The loss dropped Mike Hargrove to all-time against Joe Torre. Thanks for nothing, Orioles. At the very least George Steinbrenner should send you some fine wine this offseason, since your Jeckyll and Hyde act against us and them will be the difference in the AL East. While it's true I live in the densely populated Chicken Little section of Red Sox Nation, I don't think it's hysteria to say the sky is falling - or has fallen - after losing five of seven games to the still-below-. I won't break out the C-word because I don't think this bad patch has any real element of choking to it. Striking out on a Jorge Julio dive bomb one pitch after he's just hit on the radar gun is not choking. Giving up hits to legit studs Luis Matos and Jay Gibbons is not choking. And running the bases with your head buried in your posterior is not choking, though it is inexplicably idiotic and totally unforgivable. The most glaring revelation during these games has been the rather dire state of our pitching. In Derek Lowe's last two starts the Orioles have finished with 11 and 10 runs, respectively. Some people are saying that Lowe has reverted to his form when he was driven from the closer role by a series of game-losing home runs Paul O'Neill's and Joe Randa's come immediately to mind. But the fact is Derek Lowe has never been hit like this with the Red Sox. His ERA in was 3. Even in his woeful rookie season for the Mariners when he posted a 6. This means that in an average nine-inning start Lowe would allow Do these numbers explain the long face or does the long face explain these numbers? While his pouting is hard to watch, Sir Sulk's mound demeanor is less worrisome than the simple fact that his command has been awful. His strikes look like strikes and his balls look like balls. His slump may be a mystery, his pitches are not. Meet the new Jeff Suppan, same as the old Jeff Suppan. Ever wonder how a pitcher could give up home runs over four seasons pitching in a big yard like Kansas City? Now you know. What is his out pitch? When he has a guy on his hip , what is he going to put him away with? He'll just start nibbling. Welcome back, Mike Torrez. He's just another journeyman starter who never makes a guy take an uncomfortable swing or an emergency hack. And the worse part is that he is a classic non-Bill James guy with terrible lifetime strikeout-to-walk numbers. From , in appearances starts with the Royals, he struck out and walked , a bright red flag in even the most basic Bill James analysis. Oh, and by the way, we don't have a second baseman for next season. And don't have much of one for the stretch drive this year either. Despite his remarkable Faustian run over his last 10 starts, does anybody really have any confidence in John Burkett? Aren't we all waiting for the other shoe to drop? And by shoe, I mean eight runs in an inning and a third. Thank goodness he's turned it around or we wouldn't still be clinging to one-game lead in the Wild Card, but he's scheduled to match up against Barry Zito on Tuesday in Oakland. I'm guessing Vegas will have that at right about Things would look more optimistic if the pen that once held the promise of shortening games wasn't so shaky. Our great Scotts have been anything but as Williamson 9. Sauerback has been so bad 2. Was it Morgan Stanley or Goldman Sachs that so grossly inflated Sauerback's value at the trade deadline? And where oh where have the overmatched, bail-out swings against Byung-Hyun Kim's frisbee been? As mysterious as Lowe's struggles are, the sudden solving of B. While he has been largely effective and a significant upgrade over the closer by kamikaze Chad Fox, we hardly knew ye, thankfully , he has not been the lights-out, nail-in-the-coffin closer he was in Arizona. As for Manny Ramirez getting caught stealing with one out, down by two runs and Kevin Millar at the plate or Trot Nixon getting thrown out down by three runs, it's just the latest canto in a divine comedy of horribly unfundamental baseball by these two great players. Both have forgotten the numbers of outs this season - Manny got doubled off in a game against the Yankees, Trot flipped a ball into the stands against the Angels - and both charge around the bases with a total disregard for the situation, a bad habit when you're not very fast. Today's how-not-to-run-the-bases clinic came the day after Johnny Damon cost the team a run and Manny an RBI by getting caught off third on a one-hopper back to the mound. The sad fact is that the Red Sox are a big, mostly slow team of wallbangers with thin starting pitching and a questionable bullpen. A bit long for an epitaph, but I think you get the point. It's like asking Edward Scizzorhands to hold your hemophiliac baby. One hundred twenty-eight pitches? For the second time in three starts? We have two closers, one of whom has a rubber arm. How the hell does Pedro come out for the ninth after pitches? Yes, I agree with the Big Dog, "pitch counts are for wussies," which is exactly why Petey needs to be on one every time out. In case you haven't noticed, Pedro is something of a wussy. He's our wussy, a beautiful, magical, once-in-a-lifetime wussy, but a wussy nonetheless. The only thing more fragile than his shoulder are his feelings. Sure, the 10 no-decisions in 19 starts were a drag, but word on the street was we'd solved our bullpen problems, though Scott Sauerback's 2. With a three-run lead and the spots of the Angels order due up, surely we could have spared Pedro those last 20 high-intensity pitches. And it's not like he was dominating. He had only two innings. For the first five innings Aaron Sele was throwing harder than he was. He needed a spectacular catch from Johnny Damon on a drive to the wall in left center in the seventh and was twice taken high off the monster by David Eckstein. One aborted start later and Petey confirmed that he'd gotten hurt in the Angels came. Still waiting on the apology, Bawb. I'm not saying he's hurt now, but he has definitely been in a funk, where he is forced to battle for every out. These funks are often followed by a trip to the DL, which is much more calamitous than a trip to the DR though perhaps not in all quarters of Red Sox Nation. Does anyone think Pedro has looked sharp lately? In the pitch grind against the Empire? Against Shane Spencer in Arlington? During tonight's nifty hitter? The guy has clearly been laboring. So why, why, why would you not lift him after eight? We're in the middle of a games-indays stretch, no additional rest for Pedro between starts. I don't like it when he flies home between starts not because he's abandoning his teammates but because I can't stop thinking about Roberto Clemente. I also don't like it that Petey has been doing the Steve Carlton thing with the media, because, unlike Lefty, Pedro is a great quote. I really don't like the fact that the bullpen has been tagged for seven losses in his starts. But pitches? Say it ain't so, Gump..

I know in doing so I have almost certainly guaranteed a four-game losing streak. The Sox link a beguiling and bizarre Frankensquad. Not just any guys either. Trot Nixon finished fifth in Red sox boob flash keith foulkes A. Nomar Garciaparra and Bill Mueller have won three batting titles between them. Ramiro Mendoza… okay, not all the injuries have hurt the team.

Mark Bellhorn has been such an incredible find that it can now be reasonably suggested that the team will not necessarily be better with the return of the notoriously impatient Garciaparra. I have, however, seen him hit for power to all fields, drilling a gap seemingly every time there are runners in scoring position. Sure, he fans a lot and has a certain je ne sais Todd Walker about him defensively, but it just seems like this guy helps you win.

Yet another tip of the cap to Theo. Apparently not. On the other hand, the whole point of playing a slow guy out of position is to Red sox boob flash keith foulkes your lineup. This is clearly not happening. More speed, more range, better arm, fewer GIDPs. But seriously, Trot, hurry back… that is, if you can hurry back without hurting yourself again.

One gets the feeling that for enduring baseball health the perfect offseason training regimen lies somewhere between what Trot does and what Nomar does. Whatever, the dude is — as my buddy Jeff says — nails. But far and away the most thrilling upgrade from last year is the presence of Curt Schilling. We — and our fathers and grandfathers before us - have become so accustomed to bristly, angry, truculent superstars think Ted Williams, Bill Russell, Yaz that it is hard to believe this guy is for real.

Intelligent, hard-working, super-prepared, good-humored… and he can pitch! Still say he nibbled against Orlando Hudson before giving up that granny to Chris Gomez. This peppy ditty Red sox boob flash keith foulkes be piped into the Red Sox clubhouse 24 hours a day until every member of the team learns to count to three.

I can understand losing track of the outs in a late August game between the Tigers and Indians at Comerica. But how the hell do the Red Sox repeatedly drift into vapor lock in critical games against the team we most need to beat? In the span source 11 months, just off the top of my head, the Sox have had four separate outfielders lose track of the number of outs.

Two of them have done it twice. In a July series against the Yankees at Fenway, Manny Ramirez was off on the crack of the bat on a routine fly ball, mistakenly thinking there were two outs, and was doubled off to end the inning.

Later last season, in a series at Yankee Stadium, Manny thought he had caught the third out and began jogging into the dugout, only to turn around when he saw his teammates laughing at him. This is hilarious. Oh boy, that is funny. Great stuff. So when Pokey Red sox boob flash keith foulkes sliced a hit toward the right-field corner Kapler played it halfway and was only able to move up to second. At which point first base coach Lynn Jones and third base coach Dale Sveum certainly alerted him to the situation, right?

Or did they not know the number of outs either? I mean, seriously, what the hell were the base coaches doing between that brain cramp and the one that immediately followed Red sox boob flash keith foulkes.

I was thinking about the break I was trying to get off [Kevin] Brown. I was focusing on him and I wasn't thinking of anything else. Red sox boob flash keith foulkes never figured out there were two outs. I got to the dugout and Tito [Francona] said it was going to take eight hits to score me. And he was probably right. Oh, this just gets funnier and funnier!

How about fines for Kapler, Sveum and Jones? This Little League Red sox boob flash keith foulkes must stop. Was any Red Sox fan surprised that our fragile former ace got shelled in bad weather on four days rest against the Orioles or that our workload-loving sinkerballer got shelled on 10 days rest against the Yankees?

As a longtime baseball man surely Francona understands that sinkerballers thrive on work. The rest of the staff went more or less on schedule.

Why the rush to bring Pedro back on four days rest? If, as has been suggested, it was to avoid the circus atmosphere of having Red sox boob flash keith foulkes pitch against the Yankees, then we are still letting the Evil Empire dictate what we do.

As stupid as it would be to Red sox boob flash keith foulkes Pedro up to pitch against the Yankees, it is just as dumb to move him up to miss the Yankees. I would like Derek Jeter to show us on a K-Zone diagram any location where a called third strike would not send him into a crying fit. Twice over the weekend he got punched out on pitches right down the middle and broke into his whining, head-shaking, supremely arrogant tantrum. Maybe he should sit down in the video room with Mike Mussina and Kevin Brown and see if they would expect to get those pitches.

Or is Jeter implying that the double standard that applies to the Yankees in all other facets of Major League Baseball should also apply to the strike zone? You can always know the number of outs there are a bunch of guys obligated to tell you if you're Red sox boob flash keith foulkes sure. The prospect of missing the playoffs for failing to follow these simple tenets of baseball is like losing a golf major for signing the wrong scorecard. It just cannot happen. Dear Orioles: Thanks for Nothing.

Tubekporn Com Watch Video girl nudephoto. Last month he broke into a home run trot when he THOUGHT the ball was gone, but it bounced off the wall and only a questionable call at second kept him from a long walk of shame back to the dugout. About two thirds of the way there, he realized the flaw in his thinking: Again, he was bailed out, this time as Nomar lined a double to left with Walker otherwise hung out to dry. As we look ahead - and you know you are - to Red Sox games next week, don't we have enough to worry about? Isn't the fact that we have no real exit strategy for recording outs in a playoff game ample ulcer material? Why must we also be forced to fret over whether or not our guys know how many outs there are or if there is a runner on the base ahead of them? I don't care if Grady Little or Mike Cubbage has to call time after every pitch and make a big announcement. Please, Baby, Take a Pitch. It took Victor Zambrano pitches to record 21 outs in the Devil Rays' humiliation of the Red Sox last night that gave no indication of which team is actually in a pennant race. That's exactly six pitches per out for the pitcher that leads the American League in walks. But two of those 21 outs came on first pitches. Which hitter - despite facing the starting pitcher with the worst control in the league - do you suppose did not change his approach at the plate? The mere fact that everyone knows the answer to this question, that the question itself is rhetorical, is indicative of the depth of this problem. Yes, Nomar Garciaparra's 9-for Including his lunging, flailing strikeout on a pitch in the dirt and a foot outside in the seventh, Nomar made three outs on six pitches for an average of 2. He was also hit by a pitch, which, to his credit, he didn't swing at. The rest of the team forced Zambrano to make an average of almost seven pitches per out. With a little help from Nomar, mission accomplished. Sure, a Bill Mueller or a David Ortiz might battle you, but you can always look forward to that respite when Nomar comes up. He may get a base hit or a double off the wall, but he will not fight you tooth and nail or participate in 21st century baseball's war of attrition. You don't have to ask Nomar if he's read Moneyball to know that he flatly rejects Billy Beane's and Theo's perhaps organization-wide edict to see a lot of pitches. On Tuesday night, he drew two walks, allowing me to dream that he had had some kind of epiphany. His early career trajectory seemed to suggest a player who might one day draw walks as he went from the low 30s to 51 in to a career-high 61 in But then came the split longitudinal tendon and a return to the reckless, free-swinging days of his youth. Last year he walked only 41 times in almost plate appearances. This season he has walked 37 times, again in almost plate appearances. He has swung at more first pitches than any batter in the Majors. Now Nomar will argue, "Hey man, I'm hitting. Trot Nixon. This is because they do so judiciously. If Nomar swung at fewer first pitches - which are almost never cookies given his reputation - his first-pitch BA would rise too, right along with his OBP. Nomar has had an incredible season. His defense has never been better. His baserunning has won games. And, until his recent three-week slide, he was a legitimate MVP candidate. But you simply cannot approach Victor Zambrano the same way you'd approach Bob Tewksbury, who walked a guy every other month. You don't beat a guy like Zambrano by being aggressive. You beat him by being patient. But Nomar, as you've noticed, does things his way. And he's given every indication that he'd probably prefer to play in a city where rabid jackasses like me aren't charting the pitch counts of his at-bats. A city where no one would notice that he's become a dead pull hitter who never stays back on the ball and never hits with authority to right like he used to all the time. A city where he could fly off the ball and pop up to the right side for the th time and be greeted by a collective yawn on his way back to the dugout. A city where people believe there is something more important than baseball. I live in that city. And if Nomar wants to be a. But here goes. Eyes on the prize, people, eyes on the prize. I know it's hard to stay focused when you're waking up in the middle of the night with hot flashes of hatred for the defending AL batting champ who hit home runs for the Red Sox in fewer at-bats than Ted Williams we hated him, too, apparently , Jimmie Foxx or Jim Rice. You can make the personal decision that you'd rather see Manny Ramirez punished than see the Red Sox win a World Series, but don't delude yourself into thinking that the team can "cowboy up" and win this thing without him. Me, I don't care if the players respect Grady Little. I don't care if Johnny Damon's righteousness has been offended by his teammate's fecklessness. I don't care about sober interludes with Enrique Wilson. I care about one thing. See if you can guess what it is. We all knew what we were getting with Manny Ramirez. We saw those stats with the Indians, salivated and agreed to look past all the reports out of Cleveland that he would drive us crazy. In fact, if you remember, part of the reason the Tribe front office wasn't broken-hearted to see him go was that Manny missed 44 games his last year on Lake Erie with a hamstring injury that no one else thought was bad enough to keep him sidelined. So now, in his third spectacular season in Boston, he misses four games with Pharyngitis - and is benched for a fifth - and the guy becomes Public Enemy No. It's as if he didn't run out a one-hopper back to the mound. Mon Dieu! Blame Manny! Tim Wakefield hits Nick Johnson with an pitch then walks Jason Giambi after being ahead in the disastrous first inning of an loss. But Wakefield is a gamer so The team wins a thriller in Philly on Trot Nixon's grand slam. The Orioles fall to against the A's after being swept by the Mariners. We have lost our minds. Everyone is piling on. That's right, burn all your possessions, lest the ex-wife get them in the settlement. Scorch the earth. Everyone needs to calm down and accept a few facts: Maybe every single Red Sox fan would bounce back more quickly from a high fever and a sore throat and be back on the job the next day. I'm sure the hardhats on the Big Dig are furious at Manny and Pedro for being overpaid, budget-busting malingerers. Manny should have pinch hit on Monday. He should have made his doctor's appointment, though why Dr. Morgan wasn't going to the hotel in the first place is beyond me. He should have stayed in his room Saturday night. But none of that changes the fact that the man had a nasty bug and deserved a little slack. Not as much as he took, maybe, but a little. He may wander off the bag without calling time. He may forget the number of outs and get doubled off. He may throw to the wrong base, or, sometimes, no base at all. But the dude can rake. We need to understand that it doesn't matter if Manny misses a week because he's sick or misses a week to go chase butterflies. If the guy plays in games, he improves your chances of winning considerably. Should there be a double-standard for Manny? Only if you seriously want to win a championship. If this is too much for Johnny Damon to bear, he can take his mediocre OBP and his thalidomide throwing arm somewhere else. Strict Freudians, of course, believe all behavior can be traced back to the mother. Milk was scarce in Santo Domingo so Manny was weaned late. Who among us wouldn't hold the bottle and cradle the back of his head if it could guarantee a 3-for-4 with a pair of RBIs? I say, we accept that Manny is occasionally lazy, sometimes stupid and always goofy, then praise the heavens that none of those things have very much to do with hitting a baseball. Eyes on the prize, eyes on the prize. The Bad and the Ugly. Last night's loss to the Blue Jays was a three-hour-andminute desecration of everything that is holy and sacred about baseball. How could so much ugly exist in one game? How could one horrible loss be made up of so many awful, nauseating moments? Atrocious umpiring, inept baserunning, spastic fielding, unconscionable basecoaching, daft managing There were, of course, plenty of physical mistakes, many of them served up by that tag-team duo of Sauerback and Williamson. From vaunted to haunted, these two acquisitions have been spectacularly bad. Sauerback 5. It's hard to believe how awful these guys have been. I suspect neither has ever had a stretch like this in his career. Nice timing, fellas. But the killer for me, natch, is the raft of mental mistakes the team made. Bill Mueller getting doubled off second to squelch the fourth-inning rally on a routine liner to Orlando Hudson was at least uncharacteristic. He clearly got a bad read on the ball, thought it was hit harder than it was and was thinking about scoring. But in that situation - with Manny Ramirez on deck - he has to "see the line drive through. But it was the play before that that really infuriated me. Blue Jays starter Mark Hendrickson had allowed seven consecutive batters to reach base when Todd Walker came to the plate with runners on first and second and no one out. The guy simply could not get an out. So what do we do? We bunt the ball right back to him in a moment of tender mercy but terrible baseball. How long has Moneyball been in stores? How long has Bill James been publishing? Do we need more data on the sagacity of the fourth-inning sacrifice bunt in a slugfest with a pitcher on the ropes? Why would you ever hand that guy one of the three outs he needs to survive the inning? I don't know which rocket scientist decided to bunt - Walker or Grady Little - but it was a terrible play and a terrible bunt and plain stupid. Editor's note: Walker was the rocket scientist. That said, Walker outdid himself in the seventh when he broke into his Cadillac trot on a ball that - surprise! Jays skipper Carlos Tosca and I both think Walker got thrown out at second despite his desperate post-jog dash. The question is, How can a guy who hasn't hit a home run in a plate appearances be so sure a ball is gone? And what is the danger of running hard until you see the ump signal home run? Not looking cool? In the name of Timo Perez see World Series , why not run hard? Trust me, Todd, nothing could be as embarrassing as your defense, not even your. Tell me again how this guy helps your team. But the absolutely most unforgivable decision of the night was made by Mike Cubbage, who once again proved he has no idea what he's doing as our third base coach. Trailing with runners on first and second and nobody out, Cubby sent Manny Ramirez on Doug Mirabelli's soft liner to center. Thankfully, Vernon Wells, too, was momentarily stunned by Cubbage's fundamental lack of understanding of how the bases should be run in certain situations. Manny made a deft slide, swiping his hand across the back of the plate as Greg Myers just missed him with a sweep tag. But how, oh how, can you send Manny there, down by six runs with nobody out? Go ahead, make the argument. Just because we got away with it, doesn't mean it was the right thing to do. If anything this will embolden Cubbage to make similarly bad decisions. Can you imagine if Wells comes up throwing right away? Manny gets gunned down at home plate - breaks a finger? Cubby, please, I'm begging you. If there's nobody out - never mind the huge deficit - that guy has got to be able to score standing for you to send him. In a season that has had this team's limited baseball I. You can't always throw your curveball for a strike. You can't always hit a slider. But you can always make your first step back to the bag on a line drive with less then two out. You can always run hard until you're sure the ball has left the park. You can always know the number of outs there are a bunch of guys obligated to tell you if you're not sure. The prospect of missing the playoffs for failing to follow these simple tenets of baseball is like losing a golf major for signing the wrong scorecard. It just cannot happen. Dear Orioles: Thanks for Nothing. Remember those pesky Orioles who took five of seven from the Sox over two weekends, including three of four in Fenway? The team that made every play, every pitch and got every clutch hit? The team that was destined to blow past Toronto and disrupt the six years running finish of the AL East? One week later, you wouldn't recognize them. All the O's have done since leaving their hearts and bats in Boston is get swept by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and lose the first three games of a four-game series to the Yankees despite leading in the seventh inning or later of all three games. Last night's loss established a new low of laying down for the Yankees. One night after Jorge Julio blew a ninth-inning lead by getting torched for four runs - three courtesy a home run by Aaron. I mean, this was something out of the World Series. Only nothing this egregious happened in the World Series. The O's were between five and 10 feet from tying the score in the bottom of the 12th inning when Jack Cust - an adult male who makes his living as a professional athlete - fell flat on his face, allowing Boone to tag him as he lay supine for the game's final out. This replay has to be seen to be believed. The Yankees had botched a rundown so completely that Cust was running home and no one was covering the plate. All he had to do was, well, not fall down. This isn't Zola Budd and Mary Decker getting tangled up. This isn't Kevin Dyson getting tackled on the one-yard line. This is a pro baseball player with nothing between him and the plate but humidity who simply fell down. When last we saw Jack Cust, he was adding his name to the long list of American Leaguers who have extra base hits off Jeff Suppan since his return to the Sox. The list: As incomprehensible as this sounds, Jeff Suppan has given up 15 extra-base hits in 16 and a third innings since we threw away next season's starting second baseman for him. Cust ripped two of those extra-base hits off Suppan - and homered off Mariano Rivera last night to make it interesting. True, the O's sure have found interesting ways to lose to the Yankees. None more interesting than last night. Do you remember the woman who collapsed in the L. Coliseum at the end of the marathon at the '84 Olympics? Her body was failing, she became incontinent, totally disoriented and had to fight through a series of full-body seizures to drag herself across the finish line. That's what Cust looked like, except that he had run less than feet and didn't make it to the finish line. The loss dropped Mike Hargrove to all-time against Joe Torre. Thanks for nothing, Orioles. At the very least George Steinbrenner should send you some fine wine this offseason, since your Jeckyll and Hyde act against us and them will be the difference in the AL East. While it's true I live in the densely populated Chicken Little section of Red Sox Nation, I don't think it's hysteria to say the sky is falling - or has fallen - after losing five of seven games to the still-below-. I won't break out the C-word because I don't think this bad patch has any real element of choking to it. Striking out on a Jorge Julio dive bomb one pitch after he's just hit on the radar gun is not choking. Giving up hits to legit studs Luis Matos and Jay Gibbons is not choking. And running the bases with your head buried in your posterior is not choking, though it is inexplicably idiotic and totally unforgivable. The most glaring revelation during these games has been the rather dire state of our pitching. In Derek Lowe's last two starts the Orioles have finished with 11 and 10 runs, respectively. Some people are saying that Lowe has reverted to his form when he was driven from the closer role by a series of game-losing home runs Paul O'Neill's and Joe Randa's come immediately to mind. But the fact is Derek Lowe has never been hit like this with the Red Sox. His ERA in was 3. Even in his woeful rookie season for the Mariners when he posted a 6. This means that in an average nine-inning start Lowe would allow Do these numbers explain the long face or does the long face explain these numbers? While his pouting is hard to watch, Sir Sulk's mound demeanor is less worrisome than the simple fact that his command has been awful. His strikes look like strikes and his balls look like balls. His slump may be a mystery, his pitches are not. Meet the new Jeff Suppan, same as the old Jeff Suppan. Ever wonder how a pitcher could give up home runs over four seasons pitching in a big yard like Kansas City? Now you know. What is his out pitch? When he has a guy on his hip , what is he going to put him away with? He'll just start nibbling. Thankfully, the Oscars are over with, and hopefully, all the overwrought, overblown, and over-done coverage of Hollywood celebrities in our over-saturated media environment. Madre di Dios! Is it that our lives are so depressingly ordinary and boring that we need celebrities to fill some unfulfilled vacuum? In the end, there were no hysterics, or crashes of thunder and flashes of lightning, just the simple release of a communique in which Church leaders both rebuked TEC for its past actions, yet gave it time to formulate a suitable response that would address the concerns of the Global South i. Fortunate we are, then, that none other than the New York Times surprise! Facing a possible churchwide schism, the Anglican Communion yesterday gave its Episcopal branch in the United States less than eight months [Ed. Although the presiding American bishop, Katharine Jefferts Schori, agreed to the arrangement, some conservatives described it as an extraordinary check on her authority. It called on the House of Bishops to adopt an explicit ban against blessings of same-sex unions and to make clear that clergy in homosexual relationships cannot be confirmed as bishops. For years, the Western Churches within the Communion the Church of England, the Anglican Church of Canada, and TEC have used their affluence and traditional positions of power to impose their wills and their progressive, post-modern agenda upon the churches of the Global South, even as they themselves were suffering significant declines in membership and their African and Asian counterparts were experiencing explosive growth through the teaching of traditional Christianity, oftentimes at their own peril due to the equally-explosive growth of fundamental Islam. But with the issuance of the Dar es Salaam communique, all that has changed, for the leaders of the Global South have parlayed the growth of their churches and their power and influence within the Communion to draw a line in the sand — a line that will ultimately force TEC to choose whether its future lies as part of the Anglican Communion, or in some other arrangement. And in my view, this is both a good and necessary thing. The Primates will no longer discuss the rightness or wrongness of homosexuality. It is done. The big question now is, how will the Episcopal Church respond? It is interesting to note that whenever Dr. Why did she add this fact? Will she? Time will tell. A move like this would be a huge mistake on the part of the Episcopal Church, I believe, for if it were to choose such a strategy, the floodgates would be opened and TEC would lose untold numbers of parishioners and churches, perhaps even dioceses. The result would be a radical realignment of the Church forced by the loss of both numbers and dollars — a situation that would have the resulting effect of reducing the power and influence of its bishops, something I find hard to believe the boys and girls in purple would ever let happen. The Episcopal Church of today reminds me of one of those huge snowpiles created over the course of a winter in some supermarket or mall parking lot. Having compassion for someone three decades younger than myself! For whatever reason, she really liked that phrase, and, before I could tell her what kind of nonsense it was, said it was something she would think about and keep in mind. I need the warmth of your smile To heat my frostbitten sorrow I need your hand on my shoulder To lead todays to tomorrows I need your strength to lock me to the track I need your trust to bust the things I lack. I just always thought it was a good tune. The song, written by that killer songwriting duo of Hal David and Burt Bachrach , who, while especially writing for Dionne Warwick , had a number of fine works they could take credit for — unfortunately, this was not one of them. Oh, and one more thing: Got it? I don't care. I'm not embarrassed by it" -- while his teammates gladly add to it. Because his brain is never going to get in the way at the plate. Myers came in with the bases loaded and hit Jacque Jones with his first pitch to force in a run, then got the hook. The difference was that, instead of hyping Spider-Man, the logos were pink ribbons for breast cancer awareness and Mother's Day, allowing the bases to be auctioned off for charity. No one minds small logos you could barely see them even if you knew they were there when they're for charity, but a blatant money grab for a movie is another thing. Look, I don't mind advertising in baseball. Put ads behind the plate and on any fence you want -- heck, the Green Monster used to be one large advertisement. Just keep them off the actual field. But my biggest question about the Spider-Man controversy is this: Did the producers really think this advertising deal was necessary? Like there is anyone in America who wasn't going to know about the Spider-Man sequel unless they saw it on the bases at a Devil Rays game? And here's another sign of the times. As you might expect for a team that has a huge following in Japan, one of the messages on the revolving billboard behind home plate in Seattle is printed in Japanese. But you might find its English translation interesting: Tuffy Rhodes hit his th career home run in Japan last week. Could be. Since the first year of expanded playoffs in which baseball played the entire month of April , only 11 teams reached the postseason after entering May with a losing record. Of those, only Oakland in , Anaheim in and Minnesota in did so after finishing April as many as six games out of first place. And only the Athletics overcame an April record of more than three games under. That's bad news for the Mariners, who woke up Wednesday eight games under. The good news is that the final standings have been somewhat more forgiving of bad starts in recent years. The 11 teams to overcome losing Aprils: Louis 12 15 1. Louis 10 13 5. We're in the middle of a games-indays stretch, no additional rest for Pedro between starts. I don't like it when he flies home between starts not because he's abandoning his teammates but because I can't stop thinking about Roberto Clemente. I also don't like it that Petey has been doing the Steve Carlton thing with the media, because, unlike Lefty, Pedro is a great quote. I really don't like the fact that the bullpen has been tagged for seven losses in his starts. But pitches? Say it ain't so, Gump. In his last three starts Pedro has thrown pitches. He has allowed 32 baserunners in 21 and two-thirds innings over that stretch, a disturbing 1. On Monday he'll face Tim Hudson at Oakland. Hudson watched the ninth inning tonight after throwing pitches through eight. Well, if the Red Sox fall short this season, let me be the first to say, "It's not your fault. And it won't be my fault either. There are members of the Red Sox who have such a hard time looking in the mirror you'd think they were sitting shivah for the entire season. My wife is of the opinion that the Red Sox are so weighed down by the fans' negativity that they simply can't perform under the pressure we put on them. Over the last couple of disappointing seasons, I was starting to think she might have a point. At a time when Sox fan optimism was the highest it's been since - I don't know, Tony Pena took Zane Smith deep in the 13th in '95 or Blistergate in '86 - the Red Sox promptly waded into the four-man buzz saw of Robert Ellis They'll probably lose four straight to the Rangers and Orioles. Who knew these slugging Ubermen would find their Kryptonite in the form of an mph fastball? You half-expected Grady to explain away the losing streak by saying, "We just ran into some bad pitching. What the slide proved was that any journeyman or rebuilt veteran can beat the Sox if our boys are crazily pull-happy and trying to hit every pitch feet. Overnight the entire team became Dave Kingman. They even slugged six home runs in the four losses. Six home runs that produced a grand total of eight runs because the team so resolutely refused to take a walk or bang a base hit to the opposite field. Everyone was flying open like a rollerblind, trying to jerk everything, particularly pitches down and away. Even Manny, who can usually be counted on to provide something resembling an "approach" at the plate, was expanding the zone in a frighteningly Nomar-esque stretch. Kevin Millar continued his sad patch that has seen him go from Pat Burrell '02 to Burrell ' He's so backward right now that he's taking pitches on the inner half and trying to yank pitches that are in the dirt away. Still, Grady benched David Ortiz against Hentgen in favor of Millar, ignoring the fact that they've been going in opposite directions for over a month when someone brought it to his attention that Ortiz was 1-for lifetime against Hentgen. Only Gump could be swayed by such a small sample against the much more relevant evidence of the last six weeks. No, the Sox didn't lose these four games because our super-talented baseball columnists ask loaded questions or because we as fans boo and scream and throw chairs across our living rooms. They lost because they played like crap. They lost because their No. They lost because Ramiro Mendoza's location is so bad it could be described as Love Canal adjacent. They lost because Todd Jones walked the lead man, nibbled his way around Hank Blalock and missed Jason Varitek's glove by 18 inches on the gopher ball to A-Rod. You could even say they lost two games because their best player's wisdom tooth got infected. But you can't say they lost because we are so negative. Do you think the Orioles had their second-largest crowd of all-time at Camden Yards on Saturday because Red Sox fans are negative? So negative they'll drive through the night to see their team turn in a heartless effort, lowlighted by another slump-shouldered road loss for Sir Sulk. No, the players can point fingers - Todd Jones certainly wasn't the first - but if they fade this year, it won't be the demanding fans or the probing writers that are to blame. Nor will it be the front office. Nor the idiot manager. Then again, it might not be the players' fault either. It might just be that the Yankees, A's and Mariners are a little bit better, which would be a bummer but not a huge shock. During today's rain delay I took advantage of The Package to watch the Mariners crush the white hot White Sox for the second day in a row and the A's and Yankees lock up in a brilliant duel. As we look ahead to 14 straight against the A's and Mariners and then a home-and-home with the Yankees, I can't say I feel real confident right now that we can win 10 of these 20 games. Our rotation looks to be made up of a fragile ace, three Nos. The A's have three No. The M's would seem to have an ace Pineiro , two No. So maybe it'll be no one's fault if we come up short, just a very good team edged out by three slightly better teams and a system that rewards the mediocre AL Central winner with a playoff spot. But if it's no one's fault, whose name will I be cursing when I throw a chair across my living room if we don't make it? OK, Seriously Ramiro Mendoza's ERA is 6. I didn't see his starts against the Yankees or Blue Jays that apparently earned him a second start against the Blue Jays four earned runs and a start against the D-Rays seven earned runs and a start against the Rangers seven earned runs , but this guy clearly sucks. He has a C- sinker and a D curve. Try getting Major Leaguers out with that repertoire. The truth is that Mendoza has always been hit fairly hard except for a couple of double-play ground balls against the Red Sox in crucial spots. So now we pay doubly by giving away games at the end of July in the feeble hope that he'll recapture some magic that only existed in a couple of isolated moments against us. Not good, brain trust. But somehow Mendoza remains on the roster. Watching Mendoza pitch makes one wonder, what are the numbers when a position player is forced to the mound? Could Jose Oquendo be worse than this guy? Of Mendoza's pathetic tenure with the Townies, I will say only this: His body language matches his performance. Maybe it looks different from the on-deck circle or the dugout or the seats behind home plate, but on the centerfield TV camera it looks like Mendoza has nothing. No bite, no pop, no drop, nothing. All season. Nobody ever takes an uncomfortable swing against this guy. The margin here is razor thin. If Ramiro "bet the over" Mendoza makes one more start for the Red Sox, they will not make the playoffs. Freddy Garcia would make us the best team in baseball. The gap between Mendoza and the Big Chief is why I can't sleep. Mueller Vexes Pitchers. Has Shea Hillenbrand figured out why he was traded yet? He will if he reads the morning papers. Right after he learns that he's been joined on the D-Backs by fellow free swinger Raul Mondesi, Hillenbrand will undoubtedly find a blurb about the history-making night of Bill Mueller. Until tonight Mueller had perfected the art of playing as well as humanly possible without anyone seeming to notice. Even his manager still has him batting down in the order despite an OPS that is hundreds of points higher than Todd Walker's. And despite his phenomenal production some fans still subject his name to a cringe-inducing mispronunciation. For the first games of the season, Mueller had been content to nose ahead of fellow good guy Kevin Millar for the team's 10th Player Award. Of course being fourth in the league is only good enough for third on the team, since Manny Ramirez and Trot Nixon are behind Carlos Delgado. Unlike Manny and Trot, however, Mueller has yet to forget how many outs there were in an inning. Fourth in the league in OPS! Sixty-six points ahead of A-Rod! It's just nuts. Mueller has 52 extra-base hits in at-bats, a staggering one-every Delgado goes for extra bases once every 6. Mueller is second in the league in hitting, third in doubles and fifth in slugging. Mueller has made nine errors on an infield voted the worst in the American League by the players. And unofficially, Mueller leads the league in pitch at-bats. He is also last in the league in self-promotion. His reaction to making history tonight: Some questions: Though this season is unlike anything Mueller has ever done in the big leagues, his OBP coming into this season was. The answer may be that if Walker were hitting eighth and playing his typically brutal second base, it would force Grady to take a long look at Damian Jackson being the team's starting second baseman, a move the sinkerballers in the rotation would no doubt welcome. With Walker hitting second and the wildly inconsistent Johnny Damon leading off, the Sox have the odd statistical quirk of having a team. It doesn't really make sense, does it? There's an announcement in the offing, right? The guy was hitting 95 on the gun tonight as he maintained his spectacularly bad 2. Every Red Sox fan goes through it: Watch and they lose. I'm in one of those funks now. On the road and away from my beloved MLB package, I've been largely reduced to following the team on the ESPN News ticker, on slow-speed dial-up Internet and in this quaint-but-fun-in-a-retro-way medium called a newspaper. So while the Sox were shellacking David Wells and the Evil Empire for seven home runs I was getting eaten by mosquitoes and making inane wedding small talk with my wife's not-into sports friends. On Saturday - after going 5-for-5 against my wife's not-into-sports friends in the worst softball game I've ever participated in - I was driving back to New York City, the base of operations for the Summer of Love Tour, assuming I'd missed a thorough ass-kicking in the Bronx as Ramiro Mendoza made his return as a starter. But no, I'd missed my single favorite result in all of sports: Roger Clemens getting shelled. I knew I'd be attending the game on Sunday and I knew John Burkett was pitching, but from the highlights I was seeing on Baseball Tonight I had reason for optimism, right? I mean, even if Burkett got slapped around, I'd still get to see the most fearsome lineup in baseball against the rather average Andy Pettitte. At this point I didn't yet realize that I was in the they-only-win-when-I-don't-watch funk. Well, you all know what happened. We turned Pettitte into Sandy Koufax and Curtis Pride hit a home run to dead center as we got crushed, As we filed out of the Stadium, the impressive number of Red Sox fans were all patting each other on the back and assuring one another that we'd take three of four with Pedro going on Monday though privately we all knew what a freakin' struggle it always is to get a win for Petey against the Empire. I watched Monday's game in its entirety on the YES network. With each inning the Yankees seemed to add a chubbier, older, more broken-down player to their defensive alignment and still the Sox could not scratch out a second run for Pedro. I was just about to rethink my whole position on the importance of defense when Todd Walker made his game-ending boot. And that's when I fired off my "Losing Formula" tirade, in the throes of an agonizing loss, unmitigated by the warmer feelings I no doubt would have had for the team had I actually watched Friday and Saturday's games. As it went to extras tied at , I realized this was precisely the kind of game that I had declared in my tirade the Red Sox never win. I was back in the familiar position of desperately wanting to be wrong, and - thanks to an incredible performance by the bullpen I had just ripped and some clutch hitting from Jason Varitek - I was not only wrong but spectacularly wrong. Still, I hadn't seen so much as one pitch as it happened. Trot Nixon led off with a double and Todd Walker and David Ortiz drove in runs as the boys jumped out to a lead. I started to believe that I was actually going to get to see the Red Sox win a game for the first time since I left Los Angeles on June Yes, the only other game I had seen since leaving L. But then Derek Lowe started doing his turf thing , 9. My lovely bride is now suggesting we go to this Italian place up the street for dinner I turn off the game and take my wife to dinner. Oh cruel fate, why do you mock me so? I've barely touched down in front of the midnight Baseball Tonight when they show Ortiz driving in Manny and Kim freezing tormented Eric Hinske to cap the comeback. Had I watched the entire game, perhaps I would have remembered all the other amazing comebacks this team has had this season. Despite all the jangled nerves and incredible gacks, hasn't this team been the most fun to watch in all of baseball? Doesn't it seem to be comprised of great guys? Isn't our GM a sage? But when your team has been outscored in the last two-and-a-half games you've watched, sometimes it's hard to remember just how good they are. And surely I wouldn't regret not being able to watch tonight's game: Once again I did the YES thing - as the Indians took two of three - with frequent flips to the ticker to see if the Sox could complete their first road sweep of the season. With Mueller, Millar and Ortiz in the lineup and me not watching, was there any doubt? Early this season a friend asked me if I would not watch a single pitch of the Red Sox season if it would guarantee them a World Series title. Of course. But I would reserve the right to tell my wife that I was doing it for her. As I've been trying to tell you all along, I love this team. The Losing Formula. The individual images will blur. Was it Chad Fox who gave up a three-run game-losing homer on Opening Day? Was it Rudy Seanez who became the third Red Sox pitcher to blow a save in a spectacular inning loss to the Phillies? Did Brandon Lyon really surrender a game-losing home run on an pitch? In the endless chronicle of Red Sox collapses, this season will stand out for the sheer volume of phenomenal, incomprehensible, inexcusable losses. This team is threatening to undo 30 years of exhaustive, compelling and heretofore useful research by Bill James. As the closer-by-committee philosophy was argued in spring training, Mr. James averred that a team leading by three runs in the ninth will win 98 percent of the time though presumably that statistic was built on the arms of Messrs. Sutter, Eckersley, Hoffman, et al. On Opening Day, Monday March 31st , leading the lowly Devil Rays entering the ninth, Red Sox Nation learned once again what Professors Stanley and Schiraldi had already taught us, that it does, in fact, matter who exactly is attempting to record these last three outs. Alan Embree a two-run gopher ball to Terry Shumpert and Fox a three-run walk-off to Carl Crawford combined to cough up five runs and promptly account for one of those twice-in-a-hundred losses. By James's account - and our own fan's intuition - that loss should have stood as the worst we would suffer all year. Oh that it were so. Instead, what we thought was a statistical rarity, a quirk, a glitch was just a taste of things to come. Saturday April 5th - Squandering another superb outing by Pedro, the Sox bats go silent against a collection of mediocre Orioles pitchers and Grady Little has Chad Fox issue an intentional walk to load the bases in the bottom of the ninth, setting up Tony Batista's walk-off walk in a Sox loss. Walking Batista is only slightly less difficult than surrendering a home run to Carl Crawford, who wouldn't hit his second of the season until July. Monday May 5th - Leading Kansas City in the bottom of the ninth, Lyon gives up two hits and a walk to load the bases but still has a shot to preserve the win if he can retire Desi Relaford. Lyon drills Relaford to force in the tying run then watches as Nomar lets Brent Mayne's grounder nutmeg him for the game-losing error, his second of the game. Sunday May 11th - This loss at Minnesota is one of the few soul-crushing defeats not directly attributable to the bullpen. Rather, it is low-lighted by a baserunning gaffe by Trot Nixon and a spectacular error by Jeremy Giambi in left field with the bases loaded. After dropping a routine fly ball, Giambi proceeds to kick and bobble the ball across the Twinkiedome turf, assuring us in one long humiliating sequence that, no, he can't play that position either. Friday May 16th - Robert Person and Embree help blow a lead in this heartbreaker to the Angels, though it can't be said Embree pitches poorly, since by allowing only one run in his inning of work his ERA holds steady at 9. The game is bookended by Todd Walker failing to cover second on a grounder to short in the first and Embree failing to get to first on a grounder to the right side during the game-winning rally. Saturday May 17th - Though the final would be thanks to a three-run ninth off Lyon, the Angels win this game off Mike Timlin in the eighth with a colossal two-run homer by Troy Glaus. The gopher ball spoils a terrific bounce-back outing by Derek Lowe. Wednesday May 28th - Our annual gift to the Yankees. For the second straight year Grady opts to walk the bases loaded to bring up Jorge Posada currently fifth in the AL in BBs , setting the stage for the inevitable and thrilling walk-off walk. This time Lyon does the honors on a close pitch, undoing the incredible four-run comeback the team had mounted off Mariano Rivera in the top of the ninth. Of course the Yankees wouldn't have had a runner on third if not for a bizarre, halfhearted throw from Manny Ramirez to nobody in particular. Thursday June 5th - A loss to the lowly Pirates that began with an error by David Ortiz on a ball that was barely moving when it clanked off his glove and ended with Ramiro Mendoza giving up the winning run. The most remarkable thing about this game is that despite giving up a run in an inning and a third Mendoza lowered his ERA to 7. Friday June 6th - Though a loss to Milwaukee can hardly be considered a heartbreaker, it deserves mention for the amazing performance by call-up Hector Almonte, who enters a tie game and surrenders five earned runs before being pulled. After the game, Grady Little says he was "impressed" by Almonte. Gump must have been downright mesmerized to leave him in that long as a nailbiter became a laugher. Tuesday June 10th - An incredible loss to the Cardinals in which Seanez and Lyon continue the deflating trend - begun by Embree and Fox in the opener - of multiple Red Sox relievers each giving up multiple runs. This game also gives us new pitching coach Dave Wallace's first trip to the mound to settle down Byung-Hyun Kim, making his first start in Fenway. Wallace talks, Kim nods and J. Drew launches the next pitch for a three-run homer. Thursday June 12th - Another strong nominee for loss of the year as the Sox bow in 13 innings to the Cardinals. Embree, Lyon and Mendoza endure a meltdown progression as Embree is touched for a single run, Lyon surrenders his now-standard two-spot and Mendoza gets whacked around for three. Monday June 16th - Yet another strong outing by Pedro goes by the boards as Ryan Rupe adds his name to a truly undistinguished list by giving up a game-winning three-run home run to Joe Crede. Bill James, what is the non-expansion Major League record for most pitchers in their first season with a team taking a loss? The Red Sox have had losses from 10 different pitchers in their first season with the team. Saturday June 21st - The loss of the new millennium. Once again Pedro turns in an outstanding start and once, twice, thrice again the Red Sox bullpen throws it all away. Timlin yields a game-tying bomb to Thome in the eighth. Jason Shiell gives up a game-tying bomb to Thome in the 12th. And Seanez serves up Todd Pratt's first home run of the season to dead center, turning a lead into a loss. Saturday June 28th - If teams - on average - blow a three-run ninth-inning lead only twice per opportunities, then how often do they blow a seven-run eighth-inning lead? Again, this year's Red Sox bullpen has created entirely new columns for Bill James's actuarial tables. Leading against the Marlins after seven, the Sox lose as Lyon gives up four runs in the ninth, erasing that magical three-run "easy save" lead. Just by virtue of this team's efforts that 98 percent mark must be down to 97 percent by now. And, yes, Mike Lowell's game-winning three-run jack does come on an pitch from Lyon who should be flown to Chicago by Manny to pitch in next week's Home Run Derby. Tuesday July 1st - Lyon finds a new way to lose, this time bowing to the D-Rays as his not-that-errant pickoff throw eludes Nomar and rolls into center field, allowing Rocco Baldelli to score from second. The Sox had Baldelli picked off and should have been headed for the bat rack, but Lyon's poor throw and Nomar's momentary lapse in concentration - a Major League shortstop has got to keep that ball on the infield - added up to another brutal one-run loss. For some inexplicable reason Lyon was left in to pitch to Al Martin in the eighth. Maybe Grady felt comfortable because Martin hadn't homered all season. He has now. Martin's two-run shot ties the game and sets the stage for Timlin to surrender the losing run in the bottom of the ninth. Monday July 7th - Even the Yankees announcers - such inveterate yes men that they actually named the network YES - have to admit that the infield of Giambi and Zeile at the corners and Wilson and Ventura up the middle is probably the slowest in big league history. Although the presiding American bishop, Katharine Jefferts Schori, agreed to the arrangement, some conservatives described it as an extraordinary check on her authority. It called on the House of Bishops to adopt an explicit ban against blessings of same-sex unions and to make clear that clergy in homosexual relationships cannot be confirmed as bishops. For years, the Western Churches within the Communion the Church of England, the Anglican Church of Canada, and TEC have used their affluence and traditional positions of power to impose their wills and their progressive, post-modern agenda upon the churches of the Global South, even as they themselves were suffering significant declines in membership and their African and Asian counterparts were experiencing explosive growth through the teaching of traditional Christianity, oftentimes at their own peril due to the equally-explosive growth of fundamental Islam. But with the issuance of the Dar es Salaam communique, all that has changed, for the leaders of the Global South have parlayed the growth of their churches and their power and influence within the Communion to draw a line in the sand — a line that will ultimately force TEC to choose whether its future lies as part of the Anglican Communion, or in some other arrangement. And in my view, this is both a good and necessary thing. The Primates will no longer discuss the rightness or wrongness of homosexuality. It is done. The big question now is, how will the Episcopal Church respond? It is interesting to note that whenever Dr. Why did she add this fact? Will she? Time will tell. A move like this would be a huge mistake on the part of the Episcopal Church, I believe, for if it were to choose such a strategy, the floodgates would be opened and TEC would lose untold numbers of parishioners and churches, perhaps even dioceses. The result would be a radical realignment of the Church forced by the loss of both numbers and dollars — a situation that would have the resulting effect of reducing the power and influence of its bishops, something I find hard to believe the boys and girls in purple would ever let happen. The Episcopal Church of today reminds me of one of those huge snowpiles created over the course of a winter in some supermarket or mall parking lot. Having compassion for someone three decades younger than myself! For whatever reason, she really liked that phrase, and, before I could tell her what kind of nonsense it was, said it was something she would think about and keep in mind. I need the warmth of your smile To heat my frostbitten sorrow I need your hand on my shoulder To lead todays to tomorrows I need your strength to lock me to the track I need your trust to bust the things I lack. I just always thought it was a good tune. The song, written by that killer songwriting duo of Hal David and Burt Bachrach , who, while especially writing for Dionne Warwick , had a number of fine works they could take credit for — unfortunately, this was not one of them. Oh, and one more thing: Got it? OK, here we go:. One less bell to answer One less egg to fry One less man to pick up after — I should be happy, but all I do is cry…. I think we need to look at this more closely. If she was picking up after the dude and frying his egg in the morning, one must assume the guy was either living there, or at least staying for breakfast on a regular basis, right? So why would he have to ring the bell whenever he came over? No more laughter, eh?.

Remember those pesky Orioles who took five of seven from the Sox over two weekends, including three of four in Fenway? The team that made every play, every pitch and got every clutch hit? The team that was destined to blow past Toronto and disrupt the six years running finish of the AL East?

One week later, you wouldn't recognize them. All the O's have done since leaving their hearts and bats in Boston is get swept by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and lose the first three games of a four-game series to the Yankees despite leading in the seventh inning or later of all three games. Last night's loss established a new low of Red sox boob flash keith foulkes down for the Yankees. One night after Jorge Julio blew a ninth-inning lead by getting torched for four runs - three courtesy a home run by Aaron.

I mean, this was something out of the World Series. Only nothing this egregious happened in the World Series. The O's were between five and 10 feet from tying the score in the bottom of the 12th inning when Jack Cust - an adult male who makes his living as a professional athlete - fell flat on his face, allowing Boone to tag him as he lay supine for the game's final out.

This replay has to be seen to be believed. The Yankees had botched a rundown so completely that Cust was running home Red sox boob flash keith foulkes no one was covering the plate. All he had to do was, link, not fall down. This isn't Zola Budd and Mary Decker getting tangled up. This isn't Kevin Dyson getting tackled on the one-yard line.

This is a pro baseball player with nothing between him and the plate but humidity who simply fell down. When last we saw Jack Cust, he was adding his name to the long list of American Leaguers who have extra base hits off Jeff Suppan since his return to the Sox.

The list: As incomprehensible as this sounds, Jeff Suppan has given up 15 extra-base hits in 16 and a third innings since we threw away next season's starting second baseman for him. Cust ripped two of those extra-base hits off Suppan - and homered off Mariano Rivera last night to make it interesting.

True, the O's sure have found interesting ways to lose to the Yankees. None more interesting than last night. Do you remember the woman who collapsed in the L. Coliseum at the end of the marathon at the '84 More info Her body was failing, she became incontinent, totally disoriented and had to fight through a series of full-body seizures to drag herself across the finish line. That's what Cust looked like, except that he had run less than feet and didn't make it to the finish line.

The loss dropped Mike Hargrove to all-time against Joe Torre. Thanks for nothing, Orioles. At the very least George Steinbrenner should send you some fine wine this offseason, since your Jeckyll and Hyde act against us and them will be the difference in the AL East. While it's true I live in the densely populated Chicken Little section of Red Sox Nation, I don't think it's hysteria to say the sky is falling - or has fallen - after losing five of seven games to the still-below.

I won't break out the C-word because I don't think this bad patch has any real element of choking to it. Striking out on click here Jorge Julio dive bomb one pitch after he's just hit on the radar gun is not choking.

Giving up hits to legit studs Luis Matos and Jay Gibbons is not choking. And running the bases with your head buried in your posterior is not choking, though it is inexplicably idiotic and totally unforgivable.

The most glaring revelation during these games has been Red sox boob flash keith foulkes rather dire state of our pitching. In Derek Lowe's last two starts the Red sox boob flash keith foulkes have finished with 11 and Red sox boob flash keith foulkes runs, respectively. Some people are saying that Lowe has reverted to his form when he was driven from the closer role by source series of game-losing home runs Paul O'Neill's Red sox boob flash keith foulkes Joe Randa's come immediately to mind.

But the fact is Derek Lowe has never been hit like this with the Red Sox. His ERA in was 3. Even in his woeful rookie season for the Mariners when he posted a 6. This means that in an average nine-inning start Lowe would allow Do these numbers explain the long face or does the long face explain these numbers? While his pouting is hard to watch, Sir Sulk's mound demeanor is less worrisome than the simple fact that his command has been awful.

His Adult on line rentals look like strikes and his balls look like balls. His slump may be a mystery, his pitches are not.

Meet the new Jeff Suppan, same as the old Jeff Suppan. Ever wonder Red sox boob flash keith foulkes a pitcher could give up home runs over four seasons pitching in a big yard like Kansas City? Now you know. What is his out pitch? When he has a guy on his hipwhat is he going to put him away Red sox boob flash keith foulkes He'll just start nibbling.

Welcome back, Mike Torrez. He's just another journeyman starter who never makes a guy take an uncomfortable swing or an emergency hack. And the worse part is that he is a classic non-Bill James guy with terrible lifetime strikeout-to-walk numbers. Fromin appearances starts with the Royals, he struck out and walkeda bright red flag in even the most basic Bill James analysis. Oh, and by the way, we don't have a second baseman for next season.

And don't have much of one for the Red sox boob flash keith foulkes drive this year either. Despite his remarkable Faustian run over his last 10 starts, does anybody really have any confidence in John Burkett? Aren't we all waiting for the other shoe to drop? And by shoe, I mean eight runs in an inning and a third. Thank goodness he's turned it around or we wouldn't still be clinging to one-game lead in the Wild Card, but he's scheduled to match up against Barry Zito on Tuesday in Oakland.

I'm guessing Vegas will have that at right about Things would look more optimistic if the pen that once held the promise of shortening games wasn't so shaky.

Our great Scotts have been anything but as Williamson 9. Sauerback has been so bad 2. Was it Morgan Stanley or Goldman Sachs that so grossly inflated Sauerback's value at the trade deadline? And where oh where have the overmatched, bail-out swings against Byung-Hyun Kim's frisbee been? As mysterious as Lowe's struggles are, the sudden solving of B.

While he has been largely effective and a significant upgrade over the closer by kamikaze Chad Fox, we hardly knew ye, thankfullyhe has not been the lights-out, nail-in-the-coffin closer he was in Arizona. As for Manny Ramirez getting caught stealing with one out, down by two runs and Kevin Millar at the plate or Trot Nixon getting thrown out https://retro.ad-global.london/count2746-wygiryk.php Red sox boob flash keith foulkes three Red sox boob flash keith foulkes, it's just the latest canto in a divine comedy of horribly unfundamental baseball by these two great players.

Both have forgotten the numbers of outs this season - Manny got doubled off in a game against the Yankees, Trot flipped a ball into Red sox boob flash keith foulkes stands against the Angels - and both charge around the bases with a total disregard for the situation, a bad habit when you're not very fast.

Today's how-not-to-run-the-bases clinic came the day after Johnny Damon cost the team a run and Manny an RBI by getting caught off third on a one-hopper back to the mound. The sad fact is that the Red Sox are a big, mostly slow team of wallbangers with thin continue reading pitching and a questionable bullpen. A bit long for an epitaph, but I think you get the point.

It's like asking Edward Scizzorhands to hold your hemophiliac baby. One hundred twenty-eight pitches? For the second time in three starts? We have two closers, one of whom has a rubber arm. How the hell does Pedro come out for the ninth after pitches? Yes, I agree with the Big Dog, "pitch counts are for wussies," which is exactly why Petey needs to be on one every time out.

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In case you haven't noticed, Pedro is something of a wussy. He's our Red sox boob flash keith foulkes, a beautiful, magical, once-in-a-lifetime wussy, but a wussy nonetheless. The only thing more fragile than his shoulder are his feelings. Sure, the 10 no-decisions in 19 starts were a drag, but word on the street was we'd solved our bullpen problems, though Scott Sauerback's 2.

With a three-run lead and the spots of the Angels order due up, surely we could have spared Pedro those last 20 high-intensity pitches. Red sox boob flash keith foulkes it's not like he was dominating. He had only two innings. For Red sox boob flash keith foulkes first five innings Aaron Sele was throwing harder than he was. He needed a spectacular catch from Johnny Damon on a drive to the wall in left center in the seventh and was twice taken high off the monster by David Eckstein.

Red sox boob flash keith foulkes aborted start later and Petey confirmed that he'd gotten hurt in the Angels came. Still waiting on the apology, Bawb. I'm not saying he's hurt now, but he has definitely been in a funk, where he is forced to battle for every out.

These funks are often followed by a trip Red sox boob flash keith foulkes the DL, which is just click for source more calamitous than a trip to the DR though perhaps not in all quarters of Red Sox Nation.

Does anyone think Pedro has looked sharp lately? In the pitch grind against the Empire? Against Shane Spencer in Arlington? During tonight's nifty hitter? The guy has clearly been laboring. So why, why, why would you not lift him after eight? We're in the middle of a games-indays stretch, no additional rest for Pedro between starts. I don't like it when he flies home between starts not because he's abandoning his teammates but because I can't stop thinking about Roberto Clemente.

I also don't like it that Petey has been doing the Steve Carlton thing with the media, because, unlike Lefty, Pedro is a great quote. I really don't like the fact that the bullpen has been tagged for seven losses in his starts.

But pitches? Say it ain't so, Gump. In his last three starts Pedro has Red sox boob flash keith foulkes pitches. He has allowed 32 baserunners in 21 and two-thirds innings over that stretch, a disturbing 1. On Monday he'll face Tim Hudson at Oakland.

Hudson watched the ninth inning tonight after throwing pitches through eight. Red sox boob flash keith foulkes, if the Red Sox fall short this season, let me be the first to say, "It's not your fault.

And it won't be my fault either. There are members of the Red Sox who have such a hard time looking in the mirror you'd think they were sitting shivah for the entire season. My wife is of the opinion that the Red Sox are so weighed down by the Red sox boob flash keith foulkes negativity that they simply can't perform under the pressure we put on them.

Over the last couple of disappointing seasons, I was starting to think she might have a point. At a time when Sox fan optimism was the highest it's been since - I don't know, Tony Pena took Zane Smith deep in the 13th in '95 or Blistergate in '86 - the Red Sox promptly waded into the four-man buzz saw of Robert Ellis They'll probably lose four straight to the Rangers and Orioles.

Who knew these slugging Ubermen would find their Kryptonite in the form of an mph fastball? You half-expected Grady to explain away the losing streak by saying, "We just ran Red sox boob flash keith foulkes some bad pitching. What the slide proved was that any journeyman or rebuilt veteran can beat the Sox if our boys are crazily pull-happy and trying to hit every pitch feet. Overnight the entire team became Dave Kingman. They even slugged six home runs in the four losses.

Six home runs that produced a grand total of eight runs because the team so resolutely refused to take a walk or bang a base hit to the opposite field. Everyone was flying open like a rollerblind, trying to jerk everything, particularly pitches down and away.

Even Manny, who can usually be counted on to provide something resembling an "approach" at the plate, was expanding the zone in a frighteningly Nomar-esque stretch. Kevin Millar continued his sad patch that has seen him go from Pat Burrell '02 to Burrell ' He's so backward right now that he's taking pitches on the inner half and trying to yank pitches that are in the dirt away.

Still, Grady benched David Ortiz against Hentgen in favor of Millar, ignoring the fact that they've been going in go here directions for over a month when someone brought it to his attention that Ortiz was 1-for lifetime against Hentgen.

Only Gump could be swayed by such a small sample against the much more relevant evidence of the last six weeks. No, the Sox didn't lose these four games because our super-talented baseball columnists ask loaded questions or because we as fans boo and scream and throw chairs across our living rooms.

They lost because they played like crap. They lost because their No. They lost because Ramiro Mendoza's location is so bad it could be described as Love Canal adjacent. They lost because Todd Jones walked the lead man, nibbled his way around Hank Blalock and missed Jason Varitek's glove by 18 inches on the gopher ball to A-Rod.

You could even say they lost two games Red sox boob flash keith foulkes their best player's wisdom tooth got infected. But you can't say they lost because we are so negative. Do you think the Orioles had their second-largest crowd of all-time at Camden Yards on Saturday because Red Sox fans are negative? So negative they'll drive through the night to see their team turn in a heartless effort, lowlighted by another slump-shouldered road loss for Sir Sulk.

No, the players can point fingers - Todd Jones certainly wasn't the first - but if they fade this year, it won't be the demanding fans or the probing writers that are to blame. Nor will it be the go here office. Nor the idiot manager. Then again, it might not be the players' fault either. It might just be that the Yankees, A's and Mariners are a little bit better, which would be a bummer but not a huge shock.

During Red sox boob flash keith foulkes rain delay I took advantage of The Package to watch Red sox boob flash keith foulkes Mariners crush the white hot White Sox for the second day in a row and the A's and Yankees lock up in a brilliant duel. As we look ahead to 14 straight against the A's and Mariners and then a home-and-home with the Yankees, I can't say I feel real confident right now that we can win 10 of these 20 games. Our rotation looks to be made up of a fragile ace, Red sox boob flash keith foulkes Nos.

The A's have three No. The M's would seem to have an ace Pineirotwo No. So maybe it'll be no one's fault if we come up short, just a very good team edged out by three slightly better teams and a system that rewards the mediocre AL Central winner with a playoff spot.

But if it's no one's fault, whose name will I be cursing when I throw a chair across my living room if Red sox boob flash keith foulkes don't make it? OK, Seriously Ramiro Mendoza's ERA is 6.

I didn't see his starts against the Yankees or Blue Jays that apparently earned him a second start against the Blue Jays four earned runs and a start against the D-Rays seven earned runs and a start against the Rangers seven earned runsbut this guy clearly sucks. He has a C- sinker and a D curve. Try getting Major Leaguers out with that repertoire.

The truth is that Mendoza has always been hit fairly hard except for a couple of double-play ground balls against the Red Sox in crucial spots. So now we pay doubly by giving away games at the end of July in the feeble hope that he'll recapture some magic that only existed in a couple of isolated moments against us.

Not good, brain trust. But somehow Mendoza remains on the roster. Watching Mendoza pitch makes one wonder, what are the numbers when a position player is forced to the mound?

Could Jose Oquendo be worse than this guy? Of Mendoza's pathetic tenure with the Townies, I will say only this: And in my view, this is both a good and necessary thing. The Primates will no longer discuss the rightness or wrongness of homosexuality. It is done. The big question now is, how will the Episcopal Church respond? It is interesting to note that whenever Dr. Why did she add this fact? Will she? Time will tell.

A move like this would be a huge mistake on the part of the Episcopal Church, I believe, for if it were to choose such a strategy, the floodgates would be opened and TEC would lose untold numbers of parishioners and churches, perhaps even dioceses.

The result would be a radical realignment of the Church forced by the loss of both numbers and dollars — a situation that would have the resulting effect of reducing the power and influence of its bishops, click here I find hard to believe the boys and girls in purple would ever let happen.

The Episcopal Church of today reminds me of one of those huge snowpiles created over the course of a winter in some supermarket or mall parking lot. Having compassion for someone three decades younger than myself! For whatever reason, she really liked that phrase, and, before I could tell her what kind of nonsense it was, said it was something visit web page would think about and keep in Red sox boob flash keith foulkes.

I need the warmth of your smile To heat my frostbitten sorrow I need your hand on my shoulder To lead todays to tomorrows I need your strength to lock me to the track I need your Red sox boob flash keith foulkes to bust the things I lack.

I just always thought it was a good tune. The song, written by that killer songwriting duo of Hal David and Red sox boob flash keith foulkes Bachrachwho, while especially writing for Dionne Warwickhad a number of fine works they could take credit for — unfortunately, this was not one of them. Oh, and one more thing: Got it? OK, here we go:.

One less bell to answer One less egg to fry One less man to pick up after — I should be happy, but all I do is cry…. I think we need to click at this more closely.

If she was Red sox boob flash keith foulkes up after the dude and frying his egg in the morning, one must assume the guy was either living there, or at least staying for breakfast on a regular basis, right? So why would he have to ring the bell whenever he came over? Yeah, great drugs, no heaven, the Red sox boob flash keith foulkes of our own insignificance … But, hey, no dying until after the Red Sox win another World Series.

Continue reading "Pedro: Regarding Damon's and Kapler's recent boneheadedness on the base paths, Jesus says, We obviously aren't looking at the scoreboard a whole lot.

We must be looking Red sox boob flash keith foulkes the chicks in the stands. I need a hit. Baby, give me it. Whee Ooooh Whee Whoo! Coming off a great come from behind victory on Patriot's Day and a series victory against the MFY…. Everything yesterday impressed me, especially the way Arroyo settled down. I like that kid. Ah, he Red sox boob flash keith foulkes pretty average to me. Bronson A-A-A-Arroyo. I disagree. That data suggests he's for real. Yeah, that hanging curve ball that he leaves out over the plate 5 or 6 times a game is for real, too.

You don't need a French literary theorist to convince you of the reality of Tejada teeing off on that meatball. At least he rectified himself by driving in the go ahead in the 8th off Stephen King's muse boy Flash. Kap said he just wanted to get his bat on the ball. And what about A-Fraud?

Alex in Blunder Land. Red sox boob flash keith foulkes being a man's wife for twenty years and then finding out that he pees sitting down? Well, Red sox boob flash keith foulkes headed out to Hotlanta for that e-commerce thing. Hey, maybe you'll run into one of those hotties from The Weather Channel?

Ah, yes, Sharon Resultanfor instance, a case of real-life conducted so simply and matter-of-factly that it becomes Red sox boob flash keith foulkes mesmerizing. Meanwhile, Manny was so safe at home yesterday. And Posada leads the AL with tagging runners high at the plate. If I was Tito, I would remind the Umpiring crew of that tendency for every series.

They should have argued that call. At least there's nothing to give us all long John Kerry faces … Contreras and Lowe were pretty much equally as rusty, equally as bad.

And yet I can't fault Francona. Sheffield, Matsui, and Posada all hit pretty good pitches. Did you check out hayseed Clemen's recent performance? He's with an 0. I still loathe the lardo, but seeing him do well with Houston does provide me with a perverse pleasure … like a bowl of fresh fruit suddenly along in the Arctic night, like an abandoned car in the middle of a huge, empty parking lot.

Derek Lowe isn't sharp, indeed is outright miserable, and it's Yankees in the 3rd …. Beneath it all, desire of oblivion runs. After a great win over the Yankees behind knuckle baller Tim Wakefield, somewhere suburbia …. Bill at home: I love that Yankees defense! Tara at home: I love everything this morning. Wakefield 7 strong fluttering innings and one earned run …. But of course click to see more do, Bill, it's your modus operandi [Laughs] Do tell ….

How do you explain Francona's pitching changes, or lack thereof, last night? Wakefield was obviously toasted in the 7th. As we all know, you yank Wake when his control goes, Red sox boob flash keith foulkes when he starts getting hit around or gets tired.

He had obviously lost it in the 7th and got lucky with a few 78mph so-called fastballs. And Francona lets this web page stew?

Relax, Bill. Next you'll be complaining about the grounds crew [Laughs]. I have no idea how long they were out there but doesn't that seem kind of odd considering all the rain we just had?

Meen fuck Watch Video Bosoms porn. But no, I'd missed my single favorite result in all of sports: Roger Clemens getting shelled. I knew I'd be attending the game on Sunday and I knew John Burkett was pitching, but from the highlights I was seeing on Baseball Tonight I had reason for optimism, right? I mean, even if Burkett got slapped around, I'd still get to see the most fearsome lineup in baseball against the rather average Andy Pettitte. At this point I didn't yet realize that I was in the they-only-win-when-I-don't-watch funk. Well, you all know what happened. We turned Pettitte into Sandy Koufax and Curtis Pride hit a home run to dead center as we got crushed, As we filed out of the Stadium, the impressive number of Red Sox fans were all patting each other on the back and assuring one another that we'd take three of four with Pedro going on Monday though privately we all knew what a freakin' struggle it always is to get a win for Petey against the Empire. I watched Monday's game in its entirety on the YES network. With each inning the Yankees seemed to add a chubbier, older, more broken-down player to their defensive alignment and still the Sox could not scratch out a second run for Pedro. I was just about to rethink my whole position on the importance of defense when Todd Walker made his game-ending boot. And that's when I fired off my "Losing Formula" tirade, in the throes of an agonizing loss, unmitigated by the warmer feelings I no doubt would have had for the team had I actually watched Friday and Saturday's games. As it went to extras tied at , I realized this was precisely the kind of game that I had declared in my tirade the Red Sox never win. I was back in the familiar position of desperately wanting to be wrong, and - thanks to an incredible performance by the bullpen I had just ripped and some clutch hitting from Jason Varitek - I was not only wrong but spectacularly wrong. Still, I hadn't seen so much as one pitch as it happened. Trot Nixon led off with a double and Todd Walker and David Ortiz drove in runs as the boys jumped out to a lead. I started to believe that I was actually going to get to see the Red Sox win a game for the first time since I left Los Angeles on June Yes, the only other game I had seen since leaving L. But then Derek Lowe started doing his turf thing , 9. My lovely bride is now suggesting we go to this Italian place up the street for dinner I turn off the game and take my wife to dinner. Oh cruel fate, why do you mock me so? I've barely touched down in front of the midnight Baseball Tonight when they show Ortiz driving in Manny and Kim freezing tormented Eric Hinske to cap the comeback. Had I watched the entire game, perhaps I would have remembered all the other amazing comebacks this team has had this season. Despite all the jangled nerves and incredible gacks, hasn't this team been the most fun to watch in all of baseball? Doesn't it seem to be comprised of great guys? Isn't our GM a sage? But when your team has been outscored in the last two-and-a-half games you've watched, sometimes it's hard to remember just how good they are. And surely I wouldn't regret not being able to watch tonight's game: Once again I did the YES thing - as the Indians took two of three - with frequent flips to the ticker to see if the Sox could complete their first road sweep of the season. With Mueller, Millar and Ortiz in the lineup and me not watching, was there any doubt? Early this season a friend asked me if I would not watch a single pitch of the Red Sox season if it would guarantee them a World Series title. Of course. But I would reserve the right to tell my wife that I was doing it for her. As I've been trying to tell you all along, I love this team. The Losing Formula. The individual images will blur. Was it Chad Fox who gave up a three-run game-losing homer on Opening Day? Was it Rudy Seanez who became the third Red Sox pitcher to blow a save in a spectacular inning loss to the Phillies? Did Brandon Lyon really surrender a game-losing home run on an pitch? In the endless chronicle of Red Sox collapses, this season will stand out for the sheer volume of phenomenal, incomprehensible, inexcusable losses. This team is threatening to undo 30 years of exhaustive, compelling and heretofore useful research by Bill James. As the closer-by-committee philosophy was argued in spring training, Mr. James averred that a team leading by three runs in the ninth will win 98 percent of the time though presumably that statistic was built on the arms of Messrs. Sutter, Eckersley, Hoffman, et al. On Opening Day, Monday March 31st , leading the lowly Devil Rays entering the ninth, Red Sox Nation learned once again what Professors Stanley and Schiraldi had already taught us, that it does, in fact, matter who exactly is attempting to record these last three outs. Alan Embree a two-run gopher ball to Terry Shumpert and Fox a three-run walk-off to Carl Crawford combined to cough up five runs and promptly account for one of those twice-in-a-hundred losses. By James's account - and our own fan's intuition - that loss should have stood as the worst we would suffer all year. Oh that it were so. Instead, what we thought was a statistical rarity, a quirk, a glitch was just a taste of things to come. Saturday April 5th - Squandering another superb outing by Pedro, the Sox bats go silent against a collection of mediocre Orioles pitchers and Grady Little has Chad Fox issue an intentional walk to load the bases in the bottom of the ninth, setting up Tony Batista's walk-off walk in a Sox loss. Walking Batista is only slightly less difficult than surrendering a home run to Carl Crawford, who wouldn't hit his second of the season until July. Monday May 5th - Leading Kansas City in the bottom of the ninth, Lyon gives up two hits and a walk to load the bases but still has a shot to preserve the win if he can retire Desi Relaford. Lyon drills Relaford to force in the tying run then watches as Nomar lets Brent Mayne's grounder nutmeg him for the game-losing error, his second of the game. Sunday May 11th - This loss at Minnesota is one of the few soul-crushing defeats not directly attributable to the bullpen. Rather, it is low-lighted by a baserunning gaffe by Trot Nixon and a spectacular error by Jeremy Giambi in left field with the bases loaded. After dropping a routine fly ball, Giambi proceeds to kick and bobble the ball across the Twinkiedome turf, assuring us in one long humiliating sequence that, no, he can't play that position either. Friday May 16th - Robert Person and Embree help blow a lead in this heartbreaker to the Angels, though it can't be said Embree pitches poorly, since by allowing only one run in his inning of work his ERA holds steady at 9. The game is bookended by Todd Walker failing to cover second on a grounder to short in the first and Embree failing to get to first on a grounder to the right side during the game-winning rally. Saturday May 17th - Though the final would be thanks to a three-run ninth off Lyon, the Angels win this game off Mike Timlin in the eighth with a colossal two-run homer by Troy Glaus. The gopher ball spoils a terrific bounce-back outing by Derek Lowe. Wednesday May 28th - Our annual gift to the Yankees. For the second straight year Grady opts to walk the bases loaded to bring up Jorge Posada currently fifth in the AL in BBs , setting the stage for the inevitable and thrilling walk-off walk. This time Lyon does the honors on a close pitch, undoing the incredible four-run comeback the team had mounted off Mariano Rivera in the top of the ninth. Of course the Yankees wouldn't have had a runner on third if not for a bizarre, halfhearted throw from Manny Ramirez to nobody in particular. Thursday June 5th - A loss to the lowly Pirates that began with an error by David Ortiz on a ball that was barely moving when it clanked off his glove and ended with Ramiro Mendoza giving up the winning run. The most remarkable thing about this game is that despite giving up a run in an inning and a third Mendoza lowered his ERA to 7. Friday June 6th - Though a loss to Milwaukee can hardly be considered a heartbreaker, it deserves mention for the amazing performance by call-up Hector Almonte, who enters a tie game and surrenders five earned runs before being pulled. After the game, Grady Little says he was "impressed" by Almonte. Gump must have been downright mesmerized to leave him in that long as a nailbiter became a laugher. Tuesday June 10th - An incredible loss to the Cardinals in which Seanez and Lyon continue the deflating trend - begun by Embree and Fox in the opener - of multiple Red Sox relievers each giving up multiple runs. This game also gives us new pitching coach Dave Wallace's first trip to the mound to settle down Byung-Hyun Kim, making his first start in Fenway. Wallace talks, Kim nods and J. Drew launches the next pitch for a three-run homer. Thursday June 12th - Another strong nominee for loss of the year as the Sox bow in 13 innings to the Cardinals. Embree, Lyon and Mendoza endure a meltdown progression as Embree is touched for a single run, Lyon surrenders his now-standard two-spot and Mendoza gets whacked around for three. Monday June 16th - Yet another strong outing by Pedro goes by the boards as Ryan Rupe adds his name to a truly undistinguished list by giving up a game-winning three-run home run to Joe Crede. Bill James, what is the non-expansion Major League record for most pitchers in their first season with a team taking a loss? The Red Sox have had losses from 10 different pitchers in their first season with the team. Saturday June 21st - The loss of the new millennium. Once again Pedro turns in an outstanding start and once, twice, thrice again the Red Sox bullpen throws it all away. Timlin yields a game-tying bomb to Thome in the eighth. Jason Shiell gives up a game-tying bomb to Thome in the 12th. And Seanez serves up Todd Pratt's first home run of the season to dead center, turning a lead into a loss. Saturday June 28th - If teams - on average - blow a three-run ninth-inning lead only twice per opportunities, then how often do they blow a seven-run eighth-inning lead? Again, this year's Red Sox bullpen has created entirely new columns for Bill James's actuarial tables. Leading against the Marlins after seven, the Sox lose as Lyon gives up four runs in the ninth, erasing that magical three-run "easy save" lead. Just by virtue of this team's efforts that 98 percent mark must be down to 97 percent by now. And, yes, Mike Lowell's game-winning three-run jack does come on an pitch from Lyon who should be flown to Chicago by Manny to pitch in next week's Home Run Derby. Tuesday July 1st - Lyon finds a new way to lose, this time bowing to the D-Rays as his not-that-errant pickoff throw eludes Nomar and rolls into center field, allowing Rocco Baldelli to score from second. The Sox had Baldelli picked off and should have been headed for the bat rack, but Lyon's poor throw and Nomar's momentary lapse in concentration - a Major League shortstop has got to keep that ball on the infield - added up to another brutal one-run loss. For some inexplicable reason Lyon was left in to pitch to Al Martin in the eighth. Maybe Grady felt comfortable because Martin hadn't homered all season. He has now. Martin's two-run shot ties the game and sets the stage for Timlin to surrender the losing run in the bottom of the ninth. Monday July 7th - Even the Yankees announcers - such inveterate yes men that they actually named the network YES - have to admit that the infield of Giambi and Zeile at the corners and Wilson and Ventura up the middle is probably the slowest in big league history. Throw in Karim Garcia in left and Hideki Matsui in center and one would think that the Red Sox could find a patch of grass somewhere to land a base hit. But these are the Red Sox, the kings of the victory followed by a one-run loss. A team that could outscore the Cardinals and lose two of three. A team that can blast you over the first two games of a four-game series and only earn a split because they can't come up with one clutch hit, one good at-bat, one good swing when it matters. A team with a shortstop who could threaten total bases but spends four days in New York grounding out and popping up first pitch after first pitch. And a team, of course, with a depressing collection of journeymen on the pitching staff. Kim, the proposed solution to the back end of the bullpen problem, takes the loss in this one, as he gives up an base hit, a base hit and hits a batter to set the stage for Walker's game-losing error, his 11th of the season, a staggering total for a second baseman with no range. And, yes, he's probably the only second baseman in the game who doesn't get a glove on Giambi's game-tying hit. And, yes, Giambi was struck out on that pitch. And, no, the Red Sox never win these games. And, no, teams stacked with hitters but lacking pitching depth and defense don't win anything significant. It's a losing formula. On this, we can all agree with Bill James. Would You Rather Be in Philadelphia? Sure, we just slipped out of first again as Jose Contreras won his second straight start and our ace is broken down and a certified paranoiac. But it could be worse. No, not worse than John Burkett or Ramiro Mendoza. It doesn't get worse than these guys. But it could be worse overall. No, not worse than our defense on the right side. That doesn't get any worse. Not in the Majors anyway. I mean, if it's possible to cost your team a win on the first batter of the game, David Ortiz did it. Ortiz made a brutal error on just about the lowest-degree-of-difficulty ground ball that can possibly be hit to an infielder, not too hard, just a step off the bag. It's the kind of ground ball a coach would hit at the start of infield, a soft little warmup before the harder stuff comes. But Ortiz, who would also post a feeble oh-fer at the dish, managed to get handcuffed by the cuddly grounder, opening the door for two runs in what would be a one-run loss. Not that this play was any more aesthetically grotesque than Kevin Millar's "throw" behind Derek Lowe the previous evening. Every time I watch one of these guys play first I wonder to myself, "Could Dick Stuart really have been this bad? We could be Phillies fans. At least the Red Sox are right where they should be with this roster maybe even a little better. But the Phillies are somehow just three games over. And where has this gotten them? After tonight's cataclysmic choke against the Mariners, the Phillies are nine games behind the Braves, a team that lost three-fifths of its starting rotation in the winter. You had to see tonight's loss to believe it. Will our children believe there was a world before the MLB package? Jose Mesa turned a lead in the ninth into a deficit faster than you can say, "Chad Fox. And then the real fun began. After Tomas Perez led off the bottom of the ninth with a base hit, Jason Michaels punched a ball down the right-field line that kicked toward the fence that juts out from the grandstand. It looked like pinch runner Nick Punto had a good chance to score from first until a shrewd Philly fan reached down and touched the ball. Still, with runners on second and third, no one out and the top of the order coming up, you had to like the Phils' chances. Placido Polanco couldn't lift the ball, grounding out to third with the runners holding. After a Jimmy Rollins walk - a minor miracle in itself, the underperforming Thome got ahead then struck out on three straight pitches. Bobby Abreu's pop fly to center ended it. If ever a team deserved more than one loss in a game, this was it. So why is this Philly team that is getting outstanding pitching and was projected to score runs in bunches closer to last than first? Pat Burrell has become Rob Deer. He is hitting. Very rare to see a guy regress this much in his prime, but plate appearances is no small sample. Burrell's numbers are actually strikingly similar to the ones posted by Deer in his stint with the Red Sox. Burrell, Deer, ' Rollins has a Johnny Damon-esque. Another huge, puzzling regression from a former All-Star who seems to get a little worse every month he's in the Majors. Thome's OPS is down a staggering points from last year to , or points below Bill Mueller's. David Bell has emerged as the worst everyday player in baseball, hitting. Can you imagine a. And we thought Shea needed to get on base more and hit for more power. Phils centerfielder-of-the-future Marlon Byrd is the flop of the present, hitting. He'll be 26 in August and is rapidly approaching that Michael Coleman, can-no-longer-be-considered-a-phenom territority. But the man responsible for the Phils most devastating defeats is, of course, their year-old closer. Mesa has a 5. Throw in two losses on dropped fly balls - one by Burrell in left, one by Ricky Ledee in center - and you've got to feel some sense of relief that this is not your beloved nine. Bowa seems to be getting steadily less out of his team from week to week with his grinding intensity. If ever a team could benefit from a near-comatose skipper like Grady Little, this veteran bunch is it. So the next time the Committee blows up or the Sox defense kicks away a game, just remember, it could be worse. We could be Philly fans. Staff Infection. Players, managers and former GMs lie. But the numbers don't. These pitchers suck. To this sunny day I surrender all my good intentions. The Soxaholix are giddy as a pre-op transsexual upon getting his er, her first boobs …. That's the way, uh-ha, uh-ha, I like it. And number 38 gives better sound bites than the slickest of willies, " On the rare occasion when Pedro might get a loss, it's my job to come back and get a win. On any good staff, there's guys to do that. You worried about The Passion of the Damon? The first shall be last and the last first. Yes, let he who has never gone oh-for cast the first stone. So I'm thinking more and more about this Jello wrestling with Wonkette and Catalano …. What a joy it is to be alive! To wake late in the morning and have cups and cups of coffee, and in the heightened blind pulse that follows to imagine hot blog babes in jello. Ah, yes. I'll add that to my hairy palm collection, but it'd be easier to get John Ashcroft in a teddy than getting Ms. Yeah, unless she loses another bet … Heh heh. I'd pay top dollar to see Wonkette and Catalano in catfight with jello and bikinis. Doubt it, dude. That'd be too good to be true. Wonkette's too cool to respond to such a mundane email. I'd need to write something like this: I can also turn furniture upside down if it isn't too heavy. The fucking point is clear: I may not be an individual, but I'm still a force to be reckoned with. Forget this, and my bloody head will be all over you fucking upside down furniture. Chicks love the "I'm totally fucking insane" angle. They don't call me the "Green Monster" for nothing! Hey, I emailed Wonkette on her baseball loyalties. In a heartbeat. The Wonkette is all class … well, when she's not talking about ass-fucking that is. So what's the verdict? Is she the stuff of my Red Sox wet dreams? Verbatim from her email reply: I'd sooner vote for Bush than cheer for their raggedy pinstriped asses. As much as I hate the Yankees, and as much sympathy as I have for the Sox. I am a Cubs fan. Long suffering, loyal, disappointed. This is the year, amc". I was gonna guess she was for the Cubbies. That's cool. We are like kissing cousins, us and the Cubs fans. Hey, Curt motherfucking Schilling is in the house near the house where Ruth was born but he didn't build. Any chance of sneaking outta here early to catch it at the Cask? Let me see what I can do. Ol' man Scrivener still has his tighty whities all bunching up his ass, so no promises. You see this interview with Stout over at Red Sox Nation dot net? Stout's nails the owners by pointing out how front offices salaries, which they totally control, have escalated in line with player salaries. Hmm … I guess I've never thought of that. That ain't the half of it. According to Stout, "Larry Lucchino reportedly makes in the mid- seven figures annually, and many GMs are above the million mark. Who would you rather have? I want Lucchino! Yeah, who wants the best player in baseball when you can have a redundant executive? Yeah, read the whole thing. Stout isn't what you'd call enamored of the troika over on Yawkey Way. Earlier, the Red Sox open the '04 season with a loss to the Orioles …. Martone is tough on Pedro this morning. Pedro hasn't won an Opening Day start in, like, forever. Still, I'm not really happy with the nine baserunners in six innings or the fastball peaking at I see Belth has an interview with your boyfriend Bill James. Good to hear not all S. R dudes are anti-Varitek. Never quite understood that either. Well, not his health or pitching ability so much as fan perception …. Scene from a church: And let us pray for the quick recovery of Nomar Garciaparra and Trot Nixon. And my God grant Keith Foulke a return to last season's dominant form considering his lackluster Spring. An angry boss and lower than expected earnings has some of the Soxaholix at the office on a Saturday …. Mike, if you crank on that report for Scrivener, we may be able to get out here by one. I'm on it like a mother-ah P. First round's on me. I'll buzz the rest of the crew. You know me, I'm the Grady Little of management and human resources. What are ya doin' listening to the radio when you've got that report to write? Dude, we've been through this before. Don't yank on my work style. I do what I gotta do. Yeah, yeah, whatevs. Don't shit in your pants … What's the Boy Wonder saying? Trot is ahead of schedule and feeling great. The program they have him on in Miami will not only fix this recent injury, it will also help to prevent him from re-injuring his back in the future. He's made some good throws so far today … Nomar has begun to respond to treatment. He will continue to rest. And, Pedro feels strong and is great, and Theo saw Pedro throw on the side a couple of days ago and he had the best fastball he's had all spring. Theo said he's not worried about Pedro or his health one bit. Yeah, but what about tomorrow's forecast in Baltimore, 32 degrees and snow? What the …. No, worries. I was at the Sunday game following Opening Day in which it was around 40 degrees and raining. He whiffed 16 that day. He'll be fine tomorrow. You heard the Cleveland Indians have apparently had enough of Milton Bradley's 'antics'? Yeah, Gammons is saying a trade in the next 72 hours. I always liked Bradley and if we can get him cheaply , he might be worth taking. I'm hearing the Passion of the Damon and a minor league prospect. Over the last couple of disappointing seasons, I was starting to think she might have a point. At a time when Sox fan optimism was the highest it's been since - I don't know, Tony Pena took Zane Smith deep in the 13th in '95 or Blistergate in '86 - the Red Sox promptly waded into the four-man buzz saw of Robert Ellis They'll probably lose four straight to the Rangers and Orioles. Who knew these slugging Ubermen would find their Kryptonite in the form of an mph fastball? You half-expected Grady to explain away the losing streak by saying, "We just ran into some bad pitching. What the slide proved was that any journeyman or rebuilt veteran can beat the Sox if our boys are crazily pull-happy and trying to hit every pitch feet. Overnight the entire team became Dave Kingman. They even slugged six home runs in the four losses. Six home runs that produced a grand total of eight runs because the team so resolutely refused to take a walk or bang a base hit to the opposite field. Everyone was flying open like a rollerblind, trying to jerk everything, particularly pitches down and away. Even Manny, who can usually be counted on to provide something resembling an "approach" at the plate, was expanding the zone in a frighteningly Nomar-esque stretch. Kevin Millar continued his sad patch that has seen him go from Pat Burrell '02 to Burrell ' He's so backward right now that he's taking pitches on the inner half and trying to yank pitches that are in the dirt away. Still, Grady benched David Ortiz against Hentgen in favor of Millar, ignoring the fact that they've been going in opposite directions for over a month when someone brought it to his attention that Ortiz was 1-for lifetime against Hentgen. Only Gump could be swayed by such a small sample against the much more relevant evidence of the last six weeks. No, the Sox didn't lose these four games because our super-talented baseball columnists ask loaded questions or because we as fans boo and scream and throw chairs across our living rooms. They lost because they played like crap. They lost because their No. They lost because Ramiro Mendoza's location is so bad it could be described as Love Canal adjacent. They lost because Todd Jones walked the lead man, nibbled his way around Hank Blalock and missed Jason Varitek's glove by 18 inches on the gopher ball to A-Rod. You could even say they lost two games because their best player's wisdom tooth got infected. But you can't say they lost because we are so negative. Do you think the Orioles had their second-largest crowd of all-time at Camden Yards on Saturday because Red Sox fans are negative? So negative they'll drive through the night to see their team turn in a heartless effort, lowlighted by another slump-shouldered road loss for Sir Sulk. No, the players can point fingers - Todd Jones certainly wasn't the first - but if they fade this year, it won't be the demanding fans or the probing writers that are to blame. Nor will it be the front office. Nor the idiot manager. Then again, it might not be the players' fault either. It might just be that the Yankees, A's and Mariners are a little bit better, which would be a bummer but not a huge shock. During today's rain delay I took advantage of The Package to watch the Mariners crush the white hot White Sox for the second day in a row and the A's and Yankees lock up in a brilliant duel. As we look ahead to 14 straight against the A's and Mariners and then a home-and-home with the Yankees, I can't say I feel real confident right now that we can win 10 of these 20 games. Our rotation looks to be made up of a fragile ace, three Nos. The A's have three No. The M's would seem to have an ace Pineiro , two No. So maybe it'll be no one's fault if we come up short, just a very good team edged out by three slightly better teams and a system that rewards the mediocre AL Central winner with a playoff spot. But if it's no one's fault, whose name will I be cursing when I throw a chair across my living room if we don't make it? OK, Seriously Ramiro Mendoza's ERA is 6. I didn't see his starts against the Yankees or Blue Jays that apparently earned him a second start against the Blue Jays four earned runs and a start against the D-Rays seven earned runs and a start against the Rangers seven earned runs , but this guy clearly sucks. He has a C- sinker and a D curve. Try getting Major Leaguers out with that repertoire. The truth is that Mendoza has always been hit fairly hard except for a couple of double-play ground balls against the Red Sox in crucial spots. So now we pay doubly by giving away games at the end of July in the feeble hope that he'll recapture some magic that only existed in a couple of isolated moments against us. Not good, brain trust. But somehow Mendoza remains on the roster. Watching Mendoza pitch makes one wonder, what are the numbers when a position player is forced to the mound? Could Jose Oquendo be worse than this guy? Of Mendoza's pathetic tenure with the Townies, I will say only this: His body language matches his performance. Maybe it looks different from the on-deck circle or the dugout or the seats behind home plate, but on the centerfield TV camera it looks like Mendoza has nothing. No bite, no pop, no drop, nothing. All season. Nobody ever takes an uncomfortable swing against this guy. The margin here is razor thin. If Ramiro "bet the over" Mendoza makes one more start for the Red Sox, they will not make the playoffs. Freddy Garcia would make us the best team in baseball. The gap between Mendoza and the Big Chief is why I can't sleep. Mueller Vexes Pitchers. Has Shea Hillenbrand figured out why he was traded yet? He will if he reads the morning papers. Right after he learns that he's been joined on the D-Backs by fellow free swinger Raul Mondesi, Hillenbrand will undoubtedly find a blurb about the history-making night of Bill Mueller. Until tonight Mueller had perfected the art of playing as well as humanly possible without anyone seeming to notice. Even his manager still has him batting down in the order despite an OPS that is hundreds of points higher than Todd Walker's. And despite his phenomenal production some fans still subject his name to a cringe-inducing mispronunciation. For the first games of the season, Mueller had been content to nose ahead of fellow good guy Kevin Millar for the team's 10th Player Award. Of course being fourth in the league is only good enough for third on the team, since Manny Ramirez and Trot Nixon are behind Carlos Delgado. Unlike Manny and Trot, however, Mueller has yet to forget how many outs there were in an inning. Fourth in the league in OPS! Sixty-six points ahead of A-Rod! It's just nuts. Mueller has 52 extra-base hits in at-bats, a staggering one-every Delgado goes for extra bases once every 6. Mueller is second in the league in hitting, third in doubles and fifth in slugging. Mueller has made nine errors on an infield voted the worst in the American League by the players. And unofficially, Mueller leads the league in pitch at-bats. He is also last in the league in self-promotion. His reaction to making history tonight: Some questions: Though this season is unlike anything Mueller has ever done in the big leagues, his OBP coming into this season was. The answer may be that if Walker were hitting eighth and playing his typically brutal second base, it would force Grady to take a long look at Damian Jackson being the team's starting second baseman, a move the sinkerballers in the rotation would no doubt welcome. With Walker hitting second and the wildly inconsistent Johnny Damon leading off, the Sox have the odd statistical quirk of having a team. It doesn't really make sense, does it? There's an announcement in the offing, right? The guy was hitting 95 on the gun tonight as he maintained his spectacularly bad 2. Every Red Sox fan goes through it: Watch and they lose. I'm in one of those funks now. On the road and away from my beloved MLB package, I've been largely reduced to following the team on the ESPN News ticker, on slow-speed dial-up Internet and in this quaint-but-fun-in-a-retro-way medium called a newspaper. So while the Sox were shellacking David Wells and the Evil Empire for seven home runs I was getting eaten by mosquitoes and making inane wedding small talk with my wife's not-into sports friends. On Saturday - after going 5-for-5 against my wife's not-into-sports friends in the worst softball game I've ever participated in - I was driving back to New York City, the base of operations for the Summer of Love Tour, assuming I'd missed a thorough ass-kicking in the Bronx as Ramiro Mendoza made his return as a starter. But no, I'd missed my single favorite result in all of sports: Roger Clemens getting shelled. I knew I'd be attending the game on Sunday and I knew John Burkett was pitching, but from the highlights I was seeing on Baseball Tonight I had reason for optimism, right? I mean, even if Burkett got slapped around, I'd still get to see the most fearsome lineup in baseball against the rather average Andy Pettitte. At this point I didn't yet realize that I was in the they-only-win-when-I-don't-watch funk. Well, you all know what happened. We turned Pettitte into Sandy Koufax and Curtis Pride hit a home run to dead center as we got crushed, As we filed out of the Stadium, the impressive number of Red Sox fans were all patting each other on the back and assuring one another that we'd take three of four with Pedro going on Monday though privately we all knew what a freakin' struggle it always is to get a win for Petey against the Empire. I watched Monday's game in its entirety on the YES network. With each inning the Yankees seemed to add a chubbier, older, more broken-down player to their defensive alignment and still the Sox could not scratch out a second run for Pedro. I was just about to rethink my whole position on the importance of defense when Todd Walker made his game-ending boot. And that's when I fired off my "Losing Formula" tirade, in the throes of an agonizing loss, unmitigated by the warmer feelings I no doubt would have had for the team had I actually watched Friday and Saturday's games. As it went to extras tied at , I realized this was precisely the kind of game that I had declared in my tirade the Red Sox never win. I was back in the familiar position of desperately wanting to be wrong, and - thanks to an incredible performance by the bullpen I had just ripped and some clutch hitting from Jason Varitek - I was not only wrong but spectacularly wrong. Still, I hadn't seen so much as one pitch as it happened. Trot Nixon led off with a double and Todd Walker and David Ortiz drove in runs as the boys jumped out to a lead. I started to believe that I was actually going to get to see the Red Sox win a game for the first time since I left Los Angeles on June Yes, the only other game I had seen since leaving L. But then Derek Lowe started doing his turf thing , 9. My lovely bride is now suggesting we go to this Italian place up the street for dinner I turn off the game and take my wife to dinner. Oh cruel fate, why do you mock me so? I've barely touched down in front of the midnight Baseball Tonight when they show Ortiz driving in Manny and Kim freezing tormented Eric Hinske to cap the comeback. Had I watched the entire game, perhaps I would have remembered all the other amazing comebacks this team has had this season. Despite all the jangled nerves and incredible gacks, hasn't this team been the most fun to watch in all of baseball? Doesn't it seem to be comprised of great guys? Isn't our GM a sage? But when your team has been outscored in the last two-and-a-half games you've watched, sometimes it's hard to remember just how good they are. And surely I wouldn't regret not being able to watch tonight's game: Once again I did the YES thing - as the Indians took two of three - with frequent flips to the ticker to see if the Sox could complete their first road sweep of the season. With Mueller, Millar and Ortiz in the lineup and me not watching, was there any doubt? Early this season a friend asked me if I would not watch a single pitch of the Red Sox season if it would guarantee them a World Series title. Of course. But I would reserve the right to tell my wife that I was doing it for her. As I've been trying to tell you all along, I love this team. The Losing Formula. The individual images will blur. Was it Chad Fox who gave up a three-run game-losing homer on Opening Day? Was it Rudy Seanez who became the third Red Sox pitcher to blow a save in a spectacular inning loss to the Phillies? Did Brandon Lyon really surrender a game-losing home run on an pitch? In the endless chronicle of Red Sox collapses, this season will stand out for the sheer volume of phenomenal, incomprehensible, inexcusable losses. This team is threatening to undo 30 years of exhaustive, compelling and heretofore useful research by Bill James. As the closer-by-committee philosophy was argued in spring training, Mr. James averred that a team leading by three runs in the ninth will win 98 percent of the time though presumably that statistic was built on the arms of Messrs. Sutter, Eckersley, Hoffman, et al. On Opening Day, Monday March 31st , leading the lowly Devil Rays entering the ninth, Red Sox Nation learned once again what Professors Stanley and Schiraldi had already taught us, that it does, in fact, matter who exactly is attempting to record these last three outs. Alan Embree a two-run gopher ball to Terry Shumpert and Fox a three-run walk-off to Carl Crawford combined to cough up five runs and promptly account for one of those twice-in-a-hundred losses. By James's account - and our own fan's intuition - that loss should have stood as the worst we would suffer all year. Oh that it were so. Instead, what we thought was a statistical rarity, a quirk, a glitch was just a taste of things to come. Saturday April 5th - Squandering another superb outing by Pedro, the Sox bats go silent against a collection of mediocre Orioles pitchers and Grady Little has Chad Fox issue an intentional walk to load the bases in the bottom of the ninth, setting up Tony Batista's walk-off walk in a Sox loss. Walking Batista is only slightly less difficult than surrendering a home run to Carl Crawford, who wouldn't hit his second of the season until July. Monday May 5th - Leading Kansas City in the bottom of the ninth, Lyon gives up two hits and a walk to load the bases but still has a shot to preserve the win if he can retire Desi Relaford. Lyon drills Relaford to force in the tying run then watches as Nomar lets Brent Mayne's grounder nutmeg him for the game-losing error, his second of the game. Sunday May 11th - This loss at Minnesota is one of the few soul-crushing defeats not directly attributable to the bullpen. Rather, it is low-lighted by a baserunning gaffe by Trot Nixon and a spectacular error by Jeremy Giambi in left field with the bases loaded. After dropping a routine fly ball, Giambi proceeds to kick and bobble the ball across the Twinkiedome turf, assuring us in one long humiliating sequence that, no, he can't play that position either. Friday May 16th - Robert Person and Embree help blow a lead in this heartbreaker to the Angels, though it can't be said Embree pitches poorly, since by allowing only one run in his inning of work his ERA holds steady at 9. The game is bookended by Todd Walker failing to cover second on a grounder to short in the first and Embree failing to get to first on a grounder to the right side during the game-winning rally. Saturday May 17th - Though the final would be thanks to a three-run ninth off Lyon, the Angels win this game off Mike Timlin in the eighth with a colossal two-run homer by Troy Glaus. The gopher ball spoils a terrific bounce-back outing by Derek Lowe. Wednesday May 28th - Our annual gift to the Yankees. For the second straight year Grady opts to walk the bases loaded to bring up Jorge Posada currently fifth in the AL in BBs , setting the stage for the inevitable and thrilling walk-off walk. This time Lyon does the honors on a close pitch, undoing the incredible four-run comeback the team had mounted off Mariano Rivera in the top of the ninth. Of course the Yankees wouldn't have had a runner on third if not for a bizarre, halfhearted throw from Manny Ramirez to nobody in particular. Thursday June 5th - A loss to the lowly Pirates that began with an error by David Ortiz on a ball that was barely moving when it clanked off his glove and ended with Ramiro Mendoza giving up the winning run. The most remarkable thing about this game is that despite giving up a run in an inning and a third Mendoza lowered his ERA to 7. Friday June 6th - Though a loss to Milwaukee can hardly be considered a heartbreaker, it deserves mention for the amazing performance by call-up Hector Almonte, who enters a tie game and surrenders five earned runs before being pulled. After the game, Grady Little says he was "impressed" by Almonte. Gump must have been downright mesmerized to leave him in that long as a nailbiter became a laugher. Tuesday June 10th - An incredible loss to the Cardinals in which Seanez and Lyon continue the deflating trend - begun by Embree and Fox in the opener - of multiple Red Sox relievers each giving up multiple runs. This game also gives us new pitching coach Dave Wallace's first trip to the mound to settle down Byung-Hyun Kim, making his first start in Fenway. Wallace talks, Kim nods and J. Drew launches the next pitch for a three-run homer. Thursday June 12th - Another strong nominee for loss of the year as the Sox bow in 13 innings to the Cardinals. Embree, Lyon and Mendoza endure a meltdown progression as Embree is touched for a single run, Lyon surrenders his now-standard two-spot and Mendoza gets whacked around for three. But, by and large, Foulke served the purpose for which Theo Epstein signed him during those dreary Grady Little, post Yankee series meltdown days in the winter of So best of luck to you in the future Keith, and thanks. Those nattering nabobs of negativity in the Boston media may not have liked you, but to me, you were always OK. You did the job you were brought here for — to help bring us long-suffering Red Sox fans a world championship and a season we will never forget. And for that, I will always be grateful. But, since every blogger from time to time welcomes a compliment or two about his or her work, and since The Great White Shank is not above shilling for compliments, here are some of the spammy accolades that have poured in recently to Goodboys Nation weblog: Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at A Quiet Disintegration. Celebrity Stupor. A Line in the Sand. One Less Bell to Answer. OK, here we go: Goodboys by The Great White Shank at The Hillary Trap. Enter Barack Obama. Contemplating Warfare. Reliving Living Large. But outside of the usual places we went to and the people we met, a few memories and lasting impressions remain: Thanks, Patricia — it was our privilege to be your customers Sunday night. Thanks, Keith. Search The Site. Ultra Swank Vital Vegas Blog. Thankfully, Vernon Wells, too, was momentarily stunned by Cubbage's fundamental lack of understanding of how the bases should be run in certain situations. Manny made a deft slide, swiping his hand across the back of the plate as Greg Myers just missed him with a sweep tag. But how, oh how, can you send Manny there, down by six runs with nobody out? Go ahead, make the argument. Just because we got away with it, doesn't mean it was the right thing to do. If anything this will embolden Cubbage to make similarly bad decisions. Can you imagine if Wells comes up throwing right away? Manny gets gunned down at home plate - breaks a finger? Cubby, please, I'm begging you. If there's nobody out - never mind the huge deficit - that guy has got to be able to score standing for you to send him. In a season that has had this team's limited baseball I. You can't always throw your curveball for a strike. You can't always hit a slider. But you can always make your first step back to the bag on a line drive with less then two out. You can always run hard until you're sure the ball has left the park. You can always know the number of outs there are a bunch of guys obligated to tell you if you're not sure. The prospect of missing the playoffs for failing to follow these simple tenets of baseball is like losing a golf major for signing the wrong scorecard. It just cannot happen. Dear Orioles: Thanks for Nothing. Remember those pesky Orioles who took five of seven from the Sox over two weekends, including three of four in Fenway? The team that made every play, every pitch and got every clutch hit? The team that was destined to blow past Toronto and disrupt the six years running finish of the AL East? One week later, you wouldn't recognize them. All the O's have done since leaving their hearts and bats in Boston is get swept by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and lose the first three games of a four-game series to the Yankees despite leading in the seventh inning or later of all three games. Last night's loss established a new low of laying down for the Yankees. One night after Jorge Julio blew a ninth-inning lead by getting torched for four runs - three courtesy a home run by Aaron. I mean, this was something out of the World Series. Only nothing this egregious happened in the World Series. The O's were between five and 10 feet from tying the score in the bottom of the 12th inning when Jack Cust - an adult male who makes his living as a professional athlete - fell flat on his face, allowing Boone to tag him as he lay supine for the game's final out. This replay has to be seen to be believed. The Yankees had botched a rundown so completely that Cust was running home and no one was covering the plate. All he had to do was, well, not fall down. This isn't Zola Budd and Mary Decker getting tangled up. This isn't Kevin Dyson getting tackled on the one-yard line. This is a pro baseball player with nothing between him and the plate but humidity who simply fell down. When last we saw Jack Cust, he was adding his name to the long list of American Leaguers who have extra base hits off Jeff Suppan since his return to the Sox. The list: As incomprehensible as this sounds, Jeff Suppan has given up 15 extra-base hits in 16 and a third innings since we threw away next season's starting second baseman for him. Cust ripped two of those extra-base hits off Suppan - and homered off Mariano Rivera last night to make it interesting. True, the O's sure have found interesting ways to lose to the Yankees. None more interesting than last night. Do you remember the woman who collapsed in the L. Coliseum at the end of the marathon at the '84 Olympics? Her body was failing, she became incontinent, totally disoriented and had to fight through a series of full-body seizures to drag herself across the finish line. That's what Cust looked like, except that he had run less than feet and didn't make it to the finish line. The loss dropped Mike Hargrove to all-time against Joe Torre. Thanks for nothing, Orioles. At the very least George Steinbrenner should send you some fine wine this offseason, since your Jeckyll and Hyde act against us and them will be the difference in the AL East. While it's true I live in the densely populated Chicken Little section of Red Sox Nation, I don't think it's hysteria to say the sky is falling - or has fallen - after losing five of seven games to the still-below-. I won't break out the C-word because I don't think this bad patch has any real element of choking to it. Striking out on a Jorge Julio dive bomb one pitch after he's just hit on the radar gun is not choking. Giving up hits to legit studs Luis Matos and Jay Gibbons is not choking. And running the bases with your head buried in your posterior is not choking, though it is inexplicably idiotic and totally unforgivable. The most glaring revelation during these games has been the rather dire state of our pitching. In Derek Lowe's last two starts the Orioles have finished with 11 and 10 runs, respectively. Some people are saying that Lowe has reverted to his form when he was driven from the closer role by a series of game-losing home runs Paul O'Neill's and Joe Randa's come immediately to mind. But the fact is Derek Lowe has never been hit like this with the Red Sox. His ERA in was 3. Even in his woeful rookie season for the Mariners when he posted a 6. This means that in an average nine-inning start Lowe would allow Do these numbers explain the long face or does the long face explain these numbers? While his pouting is hard to watch, Sir Sulk's mound demeanor is less worrisome than the simple fact that his command has been awful. His strikes look like strikes and his balls look like balls. His slump may be a mystery, his pitches are not. Meet the new Jeff Suppan, same as the old Jeff Suppan. Ever wonder how a pitcher could give up home runs over four seasons pitching in a big yard like Kansas City? Now you know. What is his out pitch? When he has a guy on his hip , what is he going to put him away with? He'll just start nibbling. Welcome back, Mike Torrez. He's just another journeyman starter who never makes a guy take an uncomfortable swing or an emergency hack. And the worse part is that he is a classic non-Bill James guy with terrible lifetime strikeout-to-walk numbers. From , in appearances starts with the Royals, he struck out and walked , a bright red flag in even the most basic Bill James analysis. Oh, and by the way, we don't have a second baseman for next season. And don't have much of one for the stretch drive this year either. Despite his remarkable Faustian run over his last 10 starts, does anybody really have any confidence in John Burkett? Aren't we all waiting for the other shoe to drop? And by shoe, I mean eight runs in an inning and a third. Thank goodness he's turned it around or we wouldn't still be clinging to one-game lead in the Wild Card, but he's scheduled to match up against Barry Zito on Tuesday in Oakland. I'm guessing Vegas will have that at right about Things would look more optimistic if the pen that once held the promise of shortening games wasn't so shaky. Our great Scotts have been anything but as Williamson 9. Sauerback has been so bad 2. Was it Morgan Stanley or Goldman Sachs that so grossly inflated Sauerback's value at the trade deadline? And where oh where have the overmatched, bail-out swings against Byung-Hyun Kim's frisbee been? As mysterious as Lowe's struggles are, the sudden solving of B. While he has been largely effective and a significant upgrade over the closer by kamikaze Chad Fox, we hardly knew ye, thankfully , he has not been the lights-out, nail-in-the-coffin closer he was in Arizona. As for Manny Ramirez getting caught stealing with one out, down by two runs and Kevin Millar at the plate or Trot Nixon getting thrown out down by three runs, it's just the latest canto in a divine comedy of horribly unfundamental baseball by these two great players. Both have forgotten the numbers of outs this season - Manny got doubled off in a game against the Yankees, Trot flipped a ball into the stands against the Angels - and both charge around the bases with a total disregard for the situation, a bad habit when you're not very fast. Today's how-not-to-run-the-bases clinic came the day after Johnny Damon cost the team a run and Manny an RBI by getting caught off third on a one-hopper back to the mound. The sad fact is that the Red Sox are a big, mostly slow team of wallbangers with thin starting pitching and a questionable bullpen. A bit long for an epitaph, but I think you get the point. It's like asking Edward Scizzorhands to hold your hemophiliac baby. One hundred twenty-eight pitches? For the second time in three starts? We have two closers, one of whom has a rubber arm. How the hell does Pedro come out for the ninth after pitches? Yes, I agree with the Big Dog, "pitch counts are for wussies," which is exactly why Petey needs to be on one every time out. In case you haven't noticed, Pedro is something of a wussy. He's our wussy, a beautiful, magical, once-in-a-lifetime wussy, but a wussy nonetheless. The only thing more fragile than his shoulder are his feelings. Sure, the 10 no-decisions in 19 starts were a drag, but word on the street was we'd solved our bullpen problems, though Scott Sauerback's 2. With a three-run lead and the spots of the Angels order due up, surely we could have spared Pedro those last 20 high-intensity pitches. And it's not like he was dominating. He had only two innings. For the first five innings Aaron Sele was throwing harder than he was. He needed a spectacular catch from Johnny Damon on a drive to the wall in left center in the seventh and was twice taken high off the monster by David Eckstein. One aborted start later and Petey confirmed that he'd gotten hurt in the Angels came. Still waiting on the apology, Bawb. I'm not saying he's hurt now, but he has definitely been in a funk, where he is forced to battle for every out. These funks are often followed by a trip to the DL, which is much more calamitous than a trip to the DR though perhaps not in all quarters of Red Sox Nation. Does anyone think Pedro has looked sharp lately? In the pitch grind against the Empire? Against Shane Spencer in Arlington? During tonight's nifty hitter? The guy has clearly been laboring. So why, why, why would you not lift him after eight? We're in the middle of a games-indays stretch, no additional rest for Pedro between starts. I don't like it when he flies home between starts not because he's abandoning his teammates but because I can't stop thinking about Roberto Clemente. I also don't like it that Petey has been doing the Steve Carlton thing with the media, because, unlike Lefty, Pedro is a great quote. I really don't like the fact that the bullpen has been tagged for seven losses in his starts. But pitches? Say it ain't so, Gump. In his last three starts Pedro has thrown pitches. He has allowed 32 baserunners in 21 and two-thirds innings over that stretch, a disturbing 1. On Monday he'll face Tim Hudson at Oakland. Hudson watched the ninth inning tonight after throwing pitches through eight. Well, if the Red Sox fall short this season, let me be the first to say, "It's not your fault. And it won't be my fault either. There are members of the Red Sox who have such a hard time looking in the mirror you'd think they were sitting shivah for the entire season. My wife is of the opinion that the Red Sox are so weighed down by the fans' negativity that they simply can't perform under the pressure we put on them. Over the last couple of disappointing seasons, I was starting to think she might have a point. At a time when Sox fan optimism was the highest it's been since - I don't know, Tony Pena took Zane Smith deep in the 13th in '95 or Blistergate in '86 - the Red Sox promptly waded into the four-man buzz saw of Robert Ellis They'll probably lose four straight to the Rangers and Orioles. Who knew these slugging Ubermen would find their Kryptonite in the form of an mph fastball? You half-expected Grady to explain away the losing streak by saying, "We just ran into some bad pitching. What the slide proved was that any journeyman or rebuilt veteran can beat the Sox if our boys are crazily pull-happy and trying to hit every pitch feet. Overnight the entire team became Dave Kingman. They even slugged six home runs in the four losses. Six home runs that produced a grand total of eight runs because the team so resolutely refused to take a walk or bang a base hit to the opposite field. Everyone was flying open like a rollerblind, trying to jerk everything, particularly pitches down and away. Even Manny, who can usually be counted on to provide something resembling an "approach" at the plate, was expanding the zone in a frighteningly Nomar-esque stretch. Kevin Millar continued his sad patch that has seen him go from Pat Burrell '02 to Burrell ' He's so backward right now that he's taking pitches on the inner half and trying to yank pitches that are in the dirt away. Still, Grady benched David Ortiz against Hentgen in favor of Millar, ignoring the fact that they've been going in opposite directions for over a month when someone brought it to his attention that Ortiz was 1-for lifetime against Hentgen. Only Gump could be swayed by such a small sample against the much more relevant evidence of the last six weeks. No, the Sox didn't lose these four games because our super-talented baseball columnists ask loaded questions or because we as fans boo and scream and throw chairs across our living rooms. They lost because they played like crap. They lost because their No. They lost because Ramiro Mendoza's location is so bad it could be described as Love Canal adjacent. They lost because Todd Jones walked the lead man, nibbled his way around Hank Blalock and missed Jason Varitek's glove by 18 inches on the gopher ball to A-Rod. You could even say they lost two games because their best player's wisdom tooth got infected. But you can't say they lost because we are so negative. Do you think the Orioles had their second-largest crowd of all-time at Camden Yards on Saturday because Red Sox fans are negative? So negative they'll drive through the night to see their team turn in a heartless effort, lowlighted by another slump-shouldered road loss for Sir Sulk. No, the players can point fingers - Todd Jones certainly wasn't the first - but if they fade this year, it won't be the demanding fans or the probing writers that are to blame. Nor will it be the front office. Nor the idiot manager. Then again, it might not be the players' fault either. It might just be that the Yankees, A's and Mariners are a little bit better, which would be a bummer but not a huge shock. During today's rain delay I took advantage of The Package to watch the Mariners crush the white hot White Sox for the second day in a row and the A's and Yankees lock up in a brilliant duel. As we look ahead to 14 straight against the A's and Mariners and then a home-and-home with the Yankees, I can't say I feel real confident right now that we can win 10 of these 20 games. Our rotation looks to be made up of a fragile ace, three Nos. The A's have three No. Louis 12 15 1. Louis 10 13 5. Louis 12 14 4. Like looking at your final resting place. Member Name: TV Listings. ESPN Zone. Play Your Way. Team ESPN. Coaches Fundraising. Fan Profiles. Fantasy Games. Page 2. ESPN Corrections. Join Our Team. NFL Front Page. NFL Insider. ESPN Partner: RealTime Scores. Message Boards. MLB Front Page..

Yeah, Milf in bedroom!! as odd as you obsessive behavior. I'm trying hard not to get down on Pedro. Anyone can have a bad start, right? He's never been particularly strong in April even when he was the pitcher he was before he was labeled as "not the same pitcher he was before"…. Still, I don't feel so hot. Le stress est son truc.

Ah, you're right. And each year as a Red Sox fan is like 7 years of being a regular fan. We are like dogs. I'm going to be hearing that in my head all day. Ponson is dishing it, saying, " Let them keep thinking about it. We'll beat Red sox boob flash keith foulkes [Thursday]. If their players are thinking about the series against the Yankees instead of about us, they think we're a walk in the park for them… We'll give them a rude awakening. Oh, Sidney, I'm so scared … Why do I get the impression Ponson is thinking more about his next meal than he is pitching?

Six one and pounds. He's one Red sox boob flash keith foulkes Bastard. I eat because I'm unhappy, I'm unhappy because I eat. For your own safety, please, Don't let Orioles pitcher Sydney Ponson see your babies. Baby, it's what's for dinner at Chez Red sox boob flash keith foulkes. That's what you get for living in the burbs where your avoidance of open conflict produces a superficial social harmony and disintegrative tendencies [Laughs] Why can't the postman Red sox boob flash keith foulkes bring the mail to your front door?

Ah, that would be too easy. You see the post office is not allowed to do that, or so they told me. I want to spend the day bitching and otherwise denigrating the post office but I vaguely recall someone in this office comes from a long line of postmen.

Not me. I come from a long line of degenerate, fudge packing priests. Did you see that Baseblogs article in Slate? The one where they mention 35 baseball blogs but not a single one devoted to the Red Here Fucking A, right.

Thank you God for Red sox boob flash keith foulkes dedicated bloggers and their local color. We are united by our mother fucking love of miscellany. Pardon me while I puke into my own mouth. No way. I gave up on the fatuity of talk radio, sports or otherwise, years ago. Smart woman, as that saves you from hearing things like this, and I quote: Well, you know what they say about opinions.

Yeah, it's like a newspaper sending someone to cover Wall St and the Federal Reserve who's never taken a course in economics. It's like sending a deaf, dumb, and blind man out to write a movie review …. So who was the hottie you were chatting up at the beer works last night? Looked like you were working it wicked haahhd [laughs]. Still am. There is the question of who I really am, the tiger or the trainer. Am I this caged pulse, this spacing strength and silence, or do I stand around it, calming it endlessly, talking, singing, making whatever noise I can to bring it closer to sleep?

Fuck that hairy pussy. First Things First Baseman. Click the following article we buying or selling? Bambino's Curse. Baseball Almanac. Baseball America. Baseball News Blog. Baseball Zeitgeist. Baseball Prospectus. Bronx Banter. BoSox Club. El Guapo's Ghost. Fenway Nation. Firebrand of the AL. Red sox boob flash keith foulkes Joy of Sox. MLB Players Association. The Remy Report. Show Me the Money. Sox Prospects.

The Soxaholix. Barks and Bites. Baseball and Football. Bob Lobel Chat. Catching the Bus. Cowboy Up! The Critical Moment. Dirt Dogs History. Don't Blame Buckner.

Evil Empire. Grady's Defense, pt. Hench's Hardball. Illustrator Answers. The Lucchinos. Millar Time! The Nation Speaks. Nine Eleven. Sale of the Century. Second Page.

Red sox boob flash keith foulkes

Theo Epstein Chat. Theoretically Speaking. Yankees Suck? Yesterday's News. Strike Out. A Sox Odyssey. Chat and Discussion. MR24 and The Crib. Manny 's own Red Sox discussion board. I know I'm link my best Join the discussion now. The interview room: Remdawg's board. Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.

Sons of Sam Horn. Copyright Act. Photographic images Red sox boob flash keith foulkes with permission of Associated Press unless otherwise indicated. Sveum Old Song and Dance. Despite salvaging the last two games, this road trip raised several concerns for the Red Sox.

Is Pedro Martinez even a reliable No. Can the bridge to Keith Foulke hold up without Scott Williamson? Is Cesar Crespo really in the Major Leagues? But the biggest bummer about the trip for me was the revelation that once again the team has gone out and found a guy who cannot coach third base. By pretty much any measure Dale Sveum was an awful big leaguer. He finished his journeyman career with a. In 11 of his 12 seasons he earned a negative total player rating Pete Palmer and John Thorn's statistical rendering of a player's overall contributions to his team.

He was also a Red sox boob flash keith foulkes defensive player who didn't get to that many balls but booted more than his share a. But none of that concerns me because, well, he never played for the Red sox boob flash keith foulkes Sox.

He does, sadly, coach third base for the Red Sox, a perpetual problem spot for the team. Between Wendell Kim's chronic rally killing and Mike Cubbage's all-time boner on which he not only got Manny thrown Red sox boob flash keith foulkes at home with nobody out but Red sox boob flash keith foulkes injured, you would think the brain trust, which does such an outstanding job acquiring impact players, might be able to find a guy who understands the fundamental tenets of coaching third.

Here's a little primer for coaching third. At all times you must be aware of five things as you anticipate either sending a runner or holding a runner: With that in mind, let's take a look at Sveum's week. In the third inning of the opening game of the trip we had an event so revelatory that the two mistakes that followed only confirmed what had to be true.

With Manny Ramirez on second and one out Kevin Millar lined a single to left. Okay, so the play is right in front of Sveum. As soon as the ball is hit, I know Ramirez can't score. The ball was hit too hard, Manny isn't fast and Jose Guillen has the best arm Red sox boob flash keith foulkes any leftfielder in baseball. But to my horror Sveum Red sox boob flash keith foulkes the windmill going.

And going and going. Then a funny thing happened. Manny stopped at third. As if to say, "Dale, are you out of your mind? When Manny Ramirez has better instincts on the bases than your third base coach you have a serious problem. Especially given that Manny would contribute mightily to that one-run loss by getting picked off second by the catcher. Three nights later with the Sox trailing in Kansas City, Sveum was presented a big challenge but not an unprecedented one for third base coaches.

With one out and runners on first Bellhorn and second DamonFart on panties po rn Ortiz hit a deep drive to right. Damon went to tag up while Bellhorn ran hard to second, so when the ball went over Matt Stairs' head both Damon and Bellhorn were bearing down on Sveum. Sveum was unable to send Damon and hold Bellhorn, though at that point Bellhorn must be anticipating a hastily expressed second signal from the coach since he knows he's running up Damon's back.

In his mea culpa to the Globe's Bob Hohler - parantheticalized as "I brain- cramped " - Sveum as much as admitted he wasn't up to the task. The factor that made Sveum's cerebral flatulence so odious was the on-deck batter: Manny Red sox boob flash keith foulkes. In today's win Sveum gaffed in the other direction. With the bases loaded and one out, David Ortiz hit a ground ball single to right field. In Sveum's defense, the admittedly slow Kevin Millar was on second and the Sox were trailing But here are the three reasons Sveum should have sent Millar: At that point you have to Red sox boob flash keith foulkes that second run across on the Ortiz hit and assume that Crespo one RBI in 74 at-bats to that point won't get the job done.

Sure enough Crespo hits a chopper to first base and only a freak play on which Ken Harvey's throw hit pitcher Jason Grimsley in the face prevented a force out at home. Either Dale Sveum doesn't understand the criteria for making a decision in the third base coaching box or he panics. Either way, once again, our third base coach is killing us. Where have you gone, Gene Lamont? How complete is the brain-washing once you drink the Yankee Kool-Aid?

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