PhilSox Blog: May 2008


More or Lester AWESOME!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008
I logged on to last night in the hopes that Manny would crank two homers and then I'd be the winner of some contest that I'd entered in March. That was not to be. Instead, I had the honor of watching my first no-hitter, compliments of Jon Lester!

Jon threw 130 pitches, by far the most he's ever done. He struck out 9, walked two, and commited an error on a high throw to first. In the end, superb velocity, wonderous control, and a little defense (especially Ellsbury's diving catch!) and history was made.
I'm not usually a superstitious sort of guy, but I bought into it all last night! First of all, I'm watching the NESN feed and logged on to Neither of which was using the tern "no-hitter" because that is a "no-brainer". So round about the end of the sixth inning, while reading all the comments about how Lester's stuff was filthy and various other raves, I check out Gameday to see what the actual numbers are. I even posted the pitches thrown and a couple of other things, but never mentioned the zero hits. It was total happenstance! After I posted, I was looking again and said, out loud, to the empty kitchen where I was located, "Wait a minute! KC has not hits!" Although I was in the most uncomfortable place to watch this game (kitchen chair, Gateway notebook on the counter) and even though I suddenly and urgently needed a bathroom break, I did not move for the next 45 minutes or so.

I'd missed out on viewing Clay Buchholz's No-No last September. After Lester was done last night, and I was going through "Remedial Baseball Scoring" lessons with my wife, we were trying to figure out where the heck we were last year that I missed Clay's feat. I still can't figure it out. But I know where I was for Lester's. I suppose I'll never forget.

I won't mention the other obvious story elements that make Jon Lester's historic night all that more special. That topic has been beaten to death on "Baseball Tonight", "Sports Center", "Mike & Mike" and every website I have seen thus far. All I can say is what I posted on TalkSox last night after the final strike: God bless Jon Lester and the Red Sox!"

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Joba's Fists

Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Fire that Twinkie right here, bother!Obviously, anyone who's a fan of the Red Sox and Jonathan Papelbon would be a hypocrite if they said that fist pumping and mound theatrics bothered them. So it's the opposite position that I take in this whole swirl of commentary about Joba Chamberlain, the Yankee reliever who has been on the hot seat because of his mini celebrations during games. I really have no problem with it.

Goose Gossage, the ex-Yankee reliever and soon-to-be Hall of Famer, has an issue with it. Do you want to know why? Because he didn't do it. He believes that Chamberlain is below him. It's a "Back in my day..." sort of looking down on current guys position, if you ask me. If you're not as good as Goose, you should be doing everything like he did it in hopes of improving yourself. Forget that!

I will admit that, for an eighth inning reliever, his choices of instances to get wound up seem suspect at times. He's not getting a save or a win in most appearances. Perhaps the third strike in the 8th of a game that the Yankees are up by 3 seems less than wanting of a celebration. This is his job, though, and when he does it well, he's happy. What a freak, right? Let's not forget, too, that the Yankees need whatever good vibes they can muster these days, or the fact that Chamberlain was out recently to go home to be with his ill father, a man who by all accounts is a huge reason why Joba is where he is. When he's doing well, he's excited, both for himself and for his dad. How can you knock that?

If nothing else, these little seizures that he goes through should inspire opponents to play harder, which is never a bad thing. Instead, some opposing players get all trite and use words like "bush." David Dellucci used that very term to comment on Chamberlain's enthusiasm after striking him out recently. This strike out came the night after Dellucci went yard off of Chamberlain. If you can't get excited about that, there's something wrong with you. And if you can't understand why someone would get excited about that, you need to be in a different job. Yes, Mr. Dellucci, I'm talking to you! This is a kid's game that you play. The key term being "game". You're supposed to get excited because it is supposed to be fun. You make seven figures to do a job that people everywhere would be willing to do for minimum wage. You're supposed to be in a good mood!

I wish there were more guys showing emotion on the diamond. I don't have a problem with Manny raising his arms when he smacks a home run. What I do have an issue with is when he strikes out with men on and the Red Sox trailing and he shrugs his shoulders as if to say, "Oh, well." It bothers me, too, when a guy like J.D. Drew goes 0 for 4 and still carries that thousand-yard-stare that he wears all the time. Or when Eric Gagne blows yet another save with the same expression he always wears, none. What endears fans to players even more than raw talent is the appearance that they care about the games somewhere near the same amount that we do. David Ortiz went through a huge slump to start off this year. While he wasn't breaking bats or going on profanity laden tirades, you could tell by he mannerisms and reactions that he was as disappointed in the turn of events as we were. Ryan Howard has the same thing going on. He's doing lousy and you can tell he's mad about it. I assume that guys like Drew and Gagne are upset when they perform poorly, but I can't really be sure because they appear to not care.

I have made fun of Chamberlain on many occasions and will continue to do so as long as he is a Yankee and as long as he has that funny jowl vibration when shaking off a sign from his catcher. But to chastise him for exuberance would be both hypocritical and contrary to what I really want to see in a baseball game.

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Death of a Fan

Thursday, May 08, 2008
There are many things that could be the subject of a post today. There is the painful Red Sox loss last night to the Tigers that on the surface is attributed to Papelbon's first blown save of the season, but is really due to the Lugo error. I came very close to kicking the TV when that happened, and that's about all I can say on that, so...

The real story is one that I missed. How I missed it still baffles me. If you add up the time that I spend reading sports stuff online, listening to it on XM, and watching it on TV, the idea that I missed a story about a Yanker fan killing a Red Sox fan is just unfathomable. Yet, it happened and I missed it. On Sunday night, a Red Sox fan by the name of Matthew Beaudoin (29) was killed by Ivonne Hernandez (43) in Nashua, NH. The whole story can be found in many places, including here, but the gist of it is that he yelled "Yankees Suck!" and she ran her car into the group he was with and killed then man.

This is one of the the most ludicrous things that I have ever hear. There is one in the back of my mind about a football fan who was put in the hospital after a beating for wearing the opposing team's jersey (Was that in Philly? I can't seem to find anything on it.) This, however, is way off the chart of insanity.

We all take our sports seriously. We all get charged up when the Red Sox and Yankers play, and it never matters who's doing well and who's not, the rivalry is what it is. But when you get right down to it, none of it matters.

Let this be a lesson to all fanatics out there. Was there anything really wrong with yelling "Yankees Suck"? Not really. But won't we all think about doing stuff like that a little longer the next tiem the opportunity arises? I know I will.

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Back and On a Roll

Wednesday, May 07, 2008
Yeah, yeah! I know. I'm a slacker. No excuses. But I've been paying attention to both the Phils and the Sox over the last few days, and what a few days they've been, huh?

As for the Phillies, they played a 4 game series with San Francisco. Each game was decided by the winning team's last at bat. This included 3 walk-offs by the Phillies. Chase Utley continues to have a good portion of the time on talk radio with early predictions of NL MVP. Ryan Howard, on the other hand, continues to suck. As of today, he's got a .168 batting average, and 47 K's in 119 ABs.

Over in Detroit, the Red Sox have taken the the first two in a four game series against the offensively anemic Tigers. This is following a three game sweep of the Rays at Fenway. The Orioles have slowed down a bit, getting closer to what they really are. And the Yankers appear to be dealing with a start similar to last year's, without the talk of firing Torre, of course.

Papi and Manny went back-to-back last night, which puts Manny at 497! I think I have 5/19 in the pool.

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