Youkilis ends his errorless run as a first baseman today, setting the big league record at 238 games. The record is now a fixed number, not one that goes up on each passing game. It will take him over another year to be able to challenge his own record.
First, congratulations to the Orioles. This is the first O-Sox game I’ve attended in the six years I’ve been living in the area in which the O’s fans clearly overpower the Sox fans in loudness, tenacity, volume, and sheer pressence. I would, unofficially, estimate that it was almost a 50-50 split of the audience. Or somewhere close. Orange stands out louder and often can be confused with bright red in some lighting situations. Maybe because it was a weekday night game. Maybe because the O’s have experienced a bit of a surge early this season. Who knows. But I am impressed and dutifully humbled.
What a painful game to watch. Primarily because I watched the Sox squander away so many opportunities. And give up so many hits both in pitching and in defensive performance.
I cracked up laughing when I realised that Youkilis was the right fielder. Unbeknowst to those of us at the stadium without access to sources like Extra Bases, Coco was out because of an upset stomach (!?!).
I was kinda entertained by Ortiz’s antics in the ninth, although not so pleased by the O’s fans’ catcalls. I thought Ortiz made the wrong call. But I can relate to his pent up frustration. Heck, those of us sitting behind the homeplate, both Os and Sox fans alike, were constantly furious at the home base umpire by his calls. He had a moving strike zone that no one could identify. Even I had to acknowledge the second ball called when Manny was at bat with bases loaded was a strike. In fact, had Manny sturck out, the Sox might have had one more chance to make something of the opportunity. The only consolation we had was that the umpire was consistently inconsistent.
Aie. Bedtime. Way past, in fact. Hopefully the next game will bring better luck. I’ll be back, sitting in the exact same seat.
Red Sox: 7, Angels: 6
What an exciting game. Start ahead, fall behind, tie, get ahead, tie, break ahead. I felt like my mind was volleying back and forth like a tennis ball in a court.
– NESN called the play of the day Youk’s homerun. While he tied the game after a four run deficit, I feel like the honors really belong to Ellsbury, closely followed by his partnership with Pedroia. Two homeruns, and the winning score. That’s almost half the Red Sox score.
– Lugo’s hitting is hot. I’m still holding his defensive weakness against him.
– Timlin didn’t really earn the win… no more than Oliver deserved the loss.
– Best facial expression: Weaver’s open-mouthed gape at Youkilis’ homerun.
– Oki wasn’t so hot tonight. I hope that’s a temporary thing.
– Would kinda have liked to see Pedroia holding a catcher’s mitt, just for schitz and giggles.
– Wished my parents’ ginormous plasma HDTV had captioning.
– It’s good to be able to watch a Sox game, though.
Happy Birthday, Tito.
So, yesterday was an exceedingly excellent day for the Sox:
– Dice-K pitched phenomenally, taking in a win
– Youkilis ties his error-less streak record, meaning the odds are he’s going to set the new record if he continues just one more game
– Beckett is slated to pitch on Sunday, finally
All this aside, I couldn’t find a single game featured on tv last night. It didn’t even have to be the Red Sox. Any team would do. Baseball is baseball and I’m still a baseball fan. Argh. And I forgot to pack my XM radio to tune in. After being able to watch a couple of games earlier this week, I’m beginning to get used to the idea of watching baseball on tv. I don’t know how I managed last year- listening to XM and watching the mlb website with those virtual recaps of each pitch. Word, I must have been nuts.
I didn’t even realise his contract was up. One more year, only, Red Sox? After the Golden Glove?
Congratulations, Pedroia, for a very well-deserved Rookie of the Year award! There never was a question that you were the winner, but it was awfully nice to see you prove it beyond doubt in your performance last month.
How can one not chuckle when looking at this picture. Look! At the difference in height between the two!
On the same token, the team teases him with “low five”!
I didn’t forget the already awarded awards:
– Sad news. No agreement reached between Lowell and the Sox. We just may be saying goodbye when the other teams start contacting him.
– Next: Cy Young!!
I’m clapping like a gleeful 4-year-old with the news of the clubhouse exercising the option for Wakefield. Yes, he is injured. Yes, he had not had a good postseason. Yes, he had not had a good end of the regular season. But 17 wins in a season? It counts for something. It counts for a lot. Then there is also the intangible.
I alluded often to the “Red Sox identity.” The postseason really emphasizes on how professional baseball is different from school teams. It’s business. I don’t say it in a demeaning way, just factually. But, given all that, once the player is on a team, he plays for the team. I didn’t see a single person on that team being half-hearted about the World Series win, even if he was bound for free agency. All this, after all, is a team sport.
But some players got deeper into the sense of team and seem to adopt the team as his home team. Those players identify themselves as a member of that specific team, regardless of pay, and regardless of team’s hardware or lack thereof. Of course, this sense of is limited to some common sense factors like decent treatment from the clubhouse, some level of loyalty to the coaching staff and nucleus team composition.
Some players I feel had developed a true sense of Red Sox identity:
- Varitek (obviously, the captain)
- and Wakefield (for whose return I truly celebrate)
Some, I hope, will develop as they go deeper into their budding careers, and some of whom are starting to show it, but are really too rookie to tell:
Finally, some who want to, providing the club demonstrates some reciprocal treatment:
- Schilling, to some degree
And I’ll dare to say it: sometimes I feel Manny is Red Sox, other times I wonder if he plays more for himself. He certainly has helped define the Red Sox with his seemingly carefree and loose attitude. But who has his loyalty? We may technically hold the contract but what is his heart saying? I can’t tell.
Also, I have no idea where to place Crisp and Beckett. I hope Beckett joins the club in more ways than a contractual agreement. Being the ace certainly made him more appealing but how red does he bleed? How red is he capable of bleeding?