Red Sox Always Playing from Behind

April 22nd, 2010

From the category of “for what it’s worth,” the Boston Red Sox seem to always be playing from behind.

Through the first 15 games, here is the number of runs scored by inning:

That means on average, the Boston Red Sox are going to have a 2-1 disadvantage after the first three innings.  The rest of the games, they seem to score runs on par with their opponents.

The final three games of the Tampa Bay series, in which the Sox were swept in four games, is pretty evident of this.  In these three games, the first three innings of each game (in terms of runs) were 4-0-0, 0-2-2, and 1-0-5 (with 2 more in the fourth on Patriot’s Day).  The Sox score zero.  4+4+6 > 0+0+0.  I do have a math degree, but I don’t think it’s necessary in this case.

Then in the first two games of the Texas series thus far, the Rangers go five runs in the first four innings the first night, and four runs in the first two innings last night.  Yet again, the pitching and defense has put them into the hole where they have to come back from multiple runs.  Thankfully a few lucky breaks (Hamilton overrunning a fly-out, or getting a home-field call on the throw to home) and some clutch hitting from minor leaguers has finally given Boston a few Ws.

It would be nice to see a starting pitcher go seven-plus innings without giving up a run once.  There has still yet to be a sub-three-run game played.

On another note, I think we can just give anyone who gets on base, just let him walk to third, because they’re going to steal the bases anyway.  Tuesday night’s game was disgusting: nine stolen bases.  And it isn’t even the nine that were the worst to take.  It was that two of them were by Vladimir Guerrero.  The man can’t even walk anymore, and he had two.  And those two matched the steals total he had in 2009… All of 2009.

Celtics to Play Game Two without Garnett

April 19th, 2010

The NBA has decided that the Boston Celtics will play the second game of the opening series against the Miami Heat without Kevin Garnett.

I guess the old strategy of having a lesser player try to provoke your opponents best player has worked for Miami.

Quentin Richardson will just have to pay $25K for his actions within the fight (like being the root cause), but at least he will be able to play for Miami, who is looking to even the series in Boston on Tuesday.

There doesn’t seem to be much mention of the fact that KG was grabbed by four people from the Miami side just before the elbow was thrown.

Joakim Noah of the Chicago Bulls also had a comment about the situation, calling Garnett a dirty player.  I don’t know man, I’ve seen Noah play a few times, and I wouldn’t exactly describe his style as clean.

I guess one positive aspect of KG having to sit out a game is that he’ll be able to at least rest his legs and shoulder for a few more days.  But with Glen Davis and Rasheed Wallace having to fill in those minutes for Kevin and their knack for giving away cheap fouls, this might be a long night for the Cs.  If the defense can limit Dwyane Wade again, they might have a shot of stealing Game 2 heading to Miami.

Regardless, what seemed like a pretty physical game already will definitely be escalated in the games to come.  Get your icepacks ready.

The Newly Defensive-Minded Red Sox

April 19th, 2010

It is just twelve games into season, and it is very common for teams to start off slowly.  Last year the Red Sox began great and the New York Yankees were struggling with their reformed team, and that seemed to not be the case by the time the playoffs rolled around.

Just twelve games into the season, and a lot of those have been against teams who are supposed to be very good; projected 2010 playoff teams.  Opening against the world champion New York Yankees, out to Kansas City (okay, they should be an easy one), be the first opponents in the new stadium for Minnesota, and then back to Fenway for Tampa Bay.  They took two against the Royals, only one from each the Twins and the Yankees, and have thus far put up a bagel against the Rays in the first three of a four-game series.  Giving the Boston Red Sox a 4-8 record thus far in 2010.

Bruce Jenner - Then and Now; Just as different as the new Boston Red Sox lineup.

There are a lot of new faces to get used to.  Of what was supposed to be the starting line up, there are three new faces: Adrian Beltre at third, Marco Scutaro at the revolving door that is shortstop, and Mike Cameron in centerfield.  If you include Victor Martinez acquired at last season’s trading deadline, and Jeremy Hermida filling in for Jacoby Ellsbury (who was injured last Sunday), more than half the line-up are more of the unfamiliar names compared to the days of olde (like 2008).  It’s as if you remember Bruce Jenner’s face when he was an Olympic Decathlete and then turned on the TV today.

The theory of the direction that general manager Theo Epstein is using is very logical: a run that the defense prevents the opponent from scoring is equal to the run that your offense needs to score.  Why bother trying to pound out five runs, when all you need is three if your defense gives up two.

Twelve games this year; and the runs scored by the Red Sox: 9, 4, 1, 3, 8, 8, 2, 6, 0, 1, 5, 1. That’s 48 runs scored for 4 a game.  Not including the 19 runs scored against Kansas City, that’s 29 runs in nine games for just over 3 runs a game.

Not scoring as many runs on offense: check.

In twelve games this year, the pitching and defense have given up runs: 7, 6, 3, 4, 3, 6, 5, 3, 8, 3, 6, 7.  That’s 61 runs for 5-plus runs a game.  A team that is built around great pitching and defense has never given up less than 3 runs a game.

On top of that, there have been nine errors, seven occurring in the last four games.

And to add to the troubles, whenever there are baserunners, chances are they are going to advance. There have been 21 stolen bases (9 by Tampa Bay already).  That’s 21 stolen bases on 22 attempts.  There have also been a few judgement errors made by the catchers as well: such as the double steal by the Yankees, and the relay throw to the Marinez who threw it back to second against the Twins which allowed a runner from third to score.

Anyone can look like Willie Mays Hayes when running on the 2010 Red Sox catchers.

With twelve games down, there are only 150 left to solve all of these issues.  I think there’s still time.  I’m sure the pitching will finally start to calm down (at least the starting rotation).  And the errors will probably not be as frequent (or as atrocious).  The stolen bases are going to be a problem.  The catching is going to make everyone look like Willie Mays Hayes (the second half of the movie, not when he slides 10 feet short).

After the Monday matinee for the final game against the Rays, there twelve games against the Rangers, Baltimore (twice), and Toronto.  That seems like a nice stretch of games to at least climb back above .500.

Was Randy Moss Really Out?

December 28th, 2009

To clinch the AFC East division championship, the New England Patriots routed the Jacksonville Jaguars 35-7.  In the game, Randy Moss caught only four passes for 45 yards.  But three of those catches were for touchdowns.  This is just the second game after the Carolina Panthers claimed that they knew that if they shut down Moss, he would just give up on the field.

In that game, Moss caught one pass for 16 yards.  And the post-game talks were about how Moss mailed in the second half because he was frustrated.  Some “experts” said that he didn’t and was actually shutdown by the defense, and others said that he gave up.  One tiny fact wasn’t really talked about through all of it: The New England Patriots won the game 20-10.

And all the talk probably awoke a sleeping giant in the Brady/Moss combination.  The next game in Buffalo, Moss went 5-for-70 with a touchdown.  And then home against Jacksonville, a team that needed to win to keep their playoff hopes alive, they again went to the tandem utterly destroyed the Jags.

With one game left on the schedule, at Houston, the Pats don’t need to win.  They are assured a home game during the Wild Card weekend, and will either be in the third or fourth spot (depending on what happens with Cincinnati).  Coming out of a really tough stretch of five games of Miami and the Jets at home, and Indy, New Orleans, and Miami on the road, going 2-and-3, the Pats have won three in a row.  They are now 10-5, with all five loses coming on the road.  And with all home games played, they are definitely a tough-team-at-home.  Unfortunately, they will only have one game in the playoffs at home (barring some big losses by Indianapolis and San Diego).

But it was good to see the Patriots put together a nice string of wins using both offense and defense.  Many of the games that were lost were close games where one or two plays by the defense (or completions by the offense) in the fourth quarters would have made the difference.  Perhaps having a defense on the up-swing and an offense with a hungry Randy (and hopefully a complete set of running backs), this could be a fun postseason to watch.

Game 6 Between the Yankees and the Phillies

November 4th, 2009

Tonight is the sixth game of the World Series between the New York Yankees and the Philadelphia Phillies, and I am torn on what the outcome could be.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not nor would be a fan of the Yanks winning, but I don’t want to be too optimistic that the Phills can pull it off.  Yet with just a three-man rotation for New York, it might be the linchpin that could make the whole thing fall apart.

My friend Mike and I were talking during game five about the wisdom of Joe Girardi starting A.J. Burnett on three days of rest.2009 World Series_250x188

He said that Girardi should have started Chad Gaudin in game five.  This would have allowed full rest to Burnett and could still have C.C. Sabathia in case for game seven with Andy Pettitte (think 2001 World Series with Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling to combine to win in game seven).  They could have seen how far Gaudin took them into the game and start using the bullpen to get through the rest.  Why waste the game in a National League park where they would have to have the pitcher in the batting order when strategy at some point down the line would have him leaving the game for a pinch batter.

I agreed with Mike for the most part.  My logic was, being up three-games-to-one, waste a whatever pitcher, and get home with your best lineup.  Sabathia may be able to pitch a few games in a row on short-rest, but Burnett and Andy Pettitte might not.  Now with the way it is setup, a fully-rested Pedro Martinez will go against Pettitte and and even more tired Sabathia against a fully-rested Cole Hamels.

Mike’s point, being a Yankee fan, was that it was all rationalized because of fears from the 2004 Red Sox-Yankees ALCS, where the Yankees just needed to win one more game but couldn’t.  Girardi is managing to win this game and worrying about the next one later, because it is all over if they do just win this game.

Another interesting comparison, at least to me, is the 2007 ALCS between the Sox and the Cleveland Indians.  Ace C.C. Sabathia lost game one against ace Josh Beckett looking like the Sox were going to run away with it.  The Sox then went on to lose the next three games (one at Fenway and the first two at the Jake). So being down 3-1 in the series, it looked as if the Indians were the ones who were going to win.  That was followed by Manny Ramirez making noise in the news by saying it didn’t bother him that they were down 3-1, adding that losing wouldn’t be the end of the world.  The Sox then won game five behind their ace Josh Beckett, and went on to win games six and seven.

Yes, the home-field advantage was reversed compared to the 2009 World Series, but it still seems like an interesting look at the past to see if something might be repeated.  (This is my hope of using the Pats/Rams Super Bowl outcome when New Yorkers used it in comparison to the Pats/Giants a few years later.)

(And no, I looked it up, and Cliff Lee was not on the 25-man roster at that point.  He had been sent down to Triple-A in the middle of the season because he wasn’t performing well.)

In the end, the Yankees don’t want to lose this game six, because game sevens, especially in the World Series, are a complete unknown.  There is nobody on that 25-man roster that isn’t available since there literally isn’t a next game for which to plan.  Yes it would line up to be Sabathia (another 3-days rest, but certainly a better option than Chad Gaudin or Kevin Brown (sorry), and they’re going to ride him like the Marlins did with Beckett in 2003) versus Cole Hamels (full-rest, but mentally checked out), which on paper would go the Yankees way.  But the “what-ifs” become more intriguing.

What if Sabathia pitches 3 2/3 innings giving up 5 runs.  What if Hamels gets his pitches to actually work.  What if Ryan Howard starts hitting pitches?

Too many questions.

But, chances are Pedro will have issues tonight, and the Yankees will unfortunately win and end up with their 27th title.  And I will have to catch slack from all around.  Really looking forward to it.

Patriots Looking to Battle in England

October 23rd, 2009

In what I am sure is or will be an overplayed thought of irony, the New England Patriots will be playing in Olde England this Sunday.  But hey, what’s the point of beating something to death if you can’t get a few licks in yourself.

New England Patriot's Minutemen

New England Patriot's Minutemen

I wonder if the Minutemen will be making the trip as well.  Will there be British hooligans who will dress up in matching red coats and start firing blanks from the opposing end zone?

The franchise took the mascot from the local history of Boston, that of the patriots who defied the British crown and launched into a long and bloody war to win their independence.  And how does the loser of this war gracefully accept defeat?: By allowing us to showcase our favorite sport on their soil, a sport for which they do not seem to care.

The whole thing seems pretty “whatever” anyway.  Taking a look at the event page on Wembley Stadium‘s site, there seems to be little effort into checking of their statements accuracy.

The Buccaneers and Patriots have been two of the NFL’s most successful teams in recent years, combining to win four of the past seven Super Bowls.  Both clubs are strong contenders for a return trip to the playoffs this season.

I’m not sure if a team without a win going into week seven is much of a contender.  I can’t remember what the chat at the beginning of the season was, but I don’t think that the Bucs were regarded as a potential playoff team (ESPN’s Power Rankings at the start of the season had them 26th), especially being in the same division as the Saints and the Falcons.  And with their quarterback situation uncertain (Byron Leftwich being the frontrunner).  It was like starting the season without really having a solidified goaltending lineup (see what I did there, used a football reference).

The [Patriots] is bidding for its sixth consecutive AFC East division championship.

Unfortunately, while they tied with the Miami Dolphins record-wise, the Fins were not actually the division champs due to tie-breaking rules.

I’m half expecting that they get stuck trying to find the stadium from their hour-long trip form their hotel, and do a little sightseeing along the way: maybe see Big Ben, and Parliament.  And Big Ben and Parliament, and Big Ben…

Side note: I’m guessing that Pittsburgh is going to head over there soon so they can put up Roethlisberger’s mug everywhere.  Maybe against Seattle, so they can fly 12-or-so hours.

Some lovely ladettes with their knickers down a tad

Some lovely ladettes with their knickers down a tad

I hope that they don’t have to make a pitstop in Cardiff, and hang out with some of these lovely ladies.  There might be some trouble there.

But dealing with the game itself, I suppose the Krafts are happy since Tampa Bay had to give up their home game (giving the Glazers another tough decision: Pats v Bucs, or the Liverpool v Man U match just three hours beforehand… I bet I know what is a bigger deal to our friends across the pond).

I don’t expect them to pitch another shutout, but with their offense finally clicking (Brady is not overthrowing Randy Moss, which seems nearly impossible) and their defense starting to taking shape, it would seem that New England has an advantage over Tampa Bay (some lines are at 15.5).

Facing their second winless team in a row, the Pats need to just get out of England with a W and head into the bye-week at 5-2 to begin preparations on their toughest stretch of games: Miami (unpredictable), at Indy, the Jets (revenge game?), at New Orleans, and at Miami.

Maybe the Beginning of the End

October 13th, 2009

I always wondered when the end would come to the Boston sports scene, and I think this past weekend would be a good chunk of it.

Since a nice surprising Super Bowl victory with a young, second-string quarterback in Tom Brady at the beginning of 2002, Boston has pretty much dominated the sports world (well, at least here in the States).  Three Super Bowls (no titles before), two World Series (first in a really long time), and an NBA title (a model franchise that hasn’t been relevant in 15 years).

Every team goes through cycles, a few good years and then lean years in between.  So it stands to reason that with all the collective success of the teams in the past few years there is going to be a decline in production followed by “rebuilding” seasons.

I think the apex was Super Bowl XLII.  The Red Sox just won the World Series a few months before, and the Celtics would go on to win the Championship months later beating their archrivals, LA Lakers.  But that Super Bowl had possibly one of the greatest NFL teams in history, entering the game at 18-0, and they lost it in the way they have been known to win them: by allowing Eli Manning to march down the field in under two minutes to get the go-ahead touchdown.

Not only did a New York team beat a Boston/New England team, but it was maybe one of the greatest upsets in Super Bowl history (better than XXXVI with the Pats over St. Louis).  Thankfully, the Celtics were able to help remove some of the sting in June.  And let’s not forget the Bruins having a surprisingly good first-round exit against the Montreal Canadiens, by taking them to a game seven after it looked as though the Habs were going to just run right though them.

Then the Red Sox looked to repeat their World Series win, and finally dealt away Manny Ramirez at the trading deadline to get Jason Bay.  Instead of making the World Series though, they lost in game seven of the ALCS to the Tampa Bay (Devil) Rays.  It was easy to say that it was a somewhat-successful series, with an injured Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell to get that far, and give hope for 2009.

Then there was the 2008 New England Patriots: about eight minutes in the the first game of the season, reigning MVP (with 50 regular season touchdowns the previous) Tom Brady has his knee explode, and Pats season was over.  The one player who everyone states they can’t lose is gone.  And then a 230-draft pick replaced a 199-draft pick, and Matt Cassel learned to be a pro-quarterback taking them to an 11-5 season.  Usually that would have been good enough to get into the postseason, and it looked promising with the team getting better as the season continued. But in a fluke year, the record wasn’t good enough, and so the Pats missed the playoffs after reaching the Super Bowl the year before..

The Red Sox lost to Tampa Bay, and then later on the Celtics lost Kevin Garnett to major leg issues.  The Cs barely beat a young and athletic Chicago Bulls, and took the eventual Eastern conference champs Orlando Magic to seven games before losing.  There was also the number-one seed Bruins who cruised through the first round of the playoffs by sweeping the Habs, only the have a seven-game crushing defeat in the second round to the former Hartford Whalers (the Carolina Hurricanes).

The 2009 Red Sox started of red hot; killing the Yankees in eight games and building a nice lead, only to have it dwindle by the All-Star break.  Then they couldn’t get anything done, losing bad games, and just getting manhandled by the Yankees only getting one win in their remaining games.  The 2009 Patriots started off 3-1, with a fluky win against Buffalo, tough wins against Atlanta and Baltimore (all at home).  The lone loss was on the road against the Jets, after their coach called each and every season ticket holder to make noise and help them to get the win; and it worked.

Which finally brings us to this weekend.

First off for the heck of it, let’s look at the Boston College Eagles: ouch.  Sure Virginia Tech is ranked fifth in the nation, but it would have been nice to put up a good game against them.  The score was 0-34… at halftime.  Finally getting a pair of touchdown in the fourth quarter, they would go on to lose 14-48.

Next on the list and in no particular order, the Pats went out to Denver have Bill Belichick go against another former assistant coach in Josh McDaniels (the problem with winning so often is that the coaching staff will be picked apart by other franchises).  For all the luck that the Patriots had in all their runs in the past few years, there isn’t much left.  After Denver would drive to get a game-tying touchdown, Tom Brady couldn’t drive the field, going 3-and-out, and then fumbling on the next possession.  In overtime, the defense that held Denver to not getting close to the red zone in their final possessions let Denver walk to field goal range and win the game.  Luck wasn’t on the Pats side to call the right side of a flipped coin.

If I was going to use excuses, losing Matt Light and new-favorite-target Ben Watson were injured during the game, but hey, everyone has injuries.

But, one loss on the road against a potential-playoff team is probably not the end of the world.  My buddy Gregg also pointed out that going 2-1 against Baltimore, Atlanta and Denver is pretty good.

The funny thing is that before the game, I told my girlfriend, who thinks I become psychotic when it comes to my teams’ losses, that whenever the Red Sox lose in a day the Pats seem to win, and vice versa.

And this brings us to the most disappointing of all the Boston showings this weekend, starting with Thursday night.  After limping at the end of the season (before a four-game sweep of a Cleveland team in limbo at Fenway once the wildcard was clinched, the Sox went 2-for-10) and backing into the postseason (thanks to Texas shanking some games at the end), the Red Sox were swept by the Anaheim Angels of Los Angeles, or whatever they’re called now.

For postseasons in recent history (during the Boston-awesome years), the Red Sox have dominated the Angels.  Setting aside the 1986 ALCS, the ALDS series in 2004 (3-0), 2007 (3-0), and 2008 (3-1) have been all Boston.  Sweeps are great; when your team is the winner.  And when they are the swept party, it isn’t as much fun.

In the first two games, the offense was anemic scoring one run total in both games.  The pitching wasn’t that bad in either game (and I’m not going to complain too much about the umpiring, since it was horrible and inconsistent for both teams; and I would say for the other ALDS as well).  The worst thing is that my friend Tyrone said that Boston wouldn’t go far without Manny Ramirez (a dominate hitter), and I said that they did pretty well without him in 2008 and for the most part in 2009.  And just looking at their postseason lineup on paper (J.D. Drew hitting eighth) seemed like a pretty good chance to produce runs.

Through the first two games, there were 8 hits, 1 run and 4 walks.

Then game three.  Up 6 runs to 4, going into the top of the ninth, usually sure-handed (especially in the postseason) Papelbon entered the game.  While he only had three blown-saves in the season, it seemed as a lot of his appearances have been anything be easy.  It always seemed  like he gave up a home run, or loaded the bases, but usually finding a way to get out of them.  I guess he went to the well one too many times; eventually it would catch up to him, especially against a team like the Angels.  Three runs.

I didn’t expect them to beat Anaheim this postseason, limping into the postseason and definitely after not showing up for the first two games, but avoiding the sweep would have shown a little pride.

And to compound the misery of the Sox fandom, the New York Yankees are showing they are the most dominate team in the playoffs.  After a lackluster start, the Yankees went on an impressive regular season run to finish up with 103 wins.  Even worse is the people producing for them: Jeter (as usual), Teixeira (the guy who the Sox could have signed), and A-Rod.  Rodriguez known for putting up bagels in the postseason, especially when it matters the most (Mr. Unclutch), has been unbelievable (mostly because I can’t believe it).  Six RBIs, game-tying home runs, and all-around clutch hitting.  Is it freedom from his steroids-secret?  Dating Kate Hudson (why Kate, why?)?  Whatever it is, I’m not a fan.

So, maybe this is it.  New York is going to become good while the Boston teams are going to slide.  Giants are good (especially against Oakland’s JV team), the Jets beat the Pats with their screaming fans.  The Sox can’t score a run, the Yankees can’t lose.  The Celtics have one more year with the Big Three, and the Knicks will have enough money to sign LeBron for the 2010 off-season.

Maybe there is something to this Mayan calendar doomsday of 2012.

The Stupidest Win EVER

June 12th, 2009

Mr. Unclutch strikes again.

Two outs and down by one, with Jeter on second and Mr. Leigh Teixeira intentionally walked to get the righty-righty matchup K-Rod would have more of an advantage, A-Rod pops up to “deep” second.

The Mets were about to escape with the first game of the Subway Series in what could hardly be called a pitcher’s duel.  You could hear the collective groan of everyone (who wasn’t a Mets fan) in Yankee stadium of thinking: “Again?  Really?”

I’m not one to watch much National League games, and I don’t follow the Mets, but I feel like I’ve heard they’ve been plagued by dumb plays for much of the season.  If that’s the case, then I think this one will top them all.

A-Rod was about to not produce again in the last at-bat of the game when second baseman Luis Castillo dropped the ball.

Give credit to Jeter and (more importantly) Teixeira for legging out a game-ending pop-up.  If they didn’t, it would have been one run to tie the game and Tex on 3rd.  And it’s definitely not K-Rod’s fault since he was able to induce the routine pop-up.  It totally sucks that he gets a loss and a blown save on an error like that.

For a team that just got crushed in three games in Boston, losing to the Mets in a game were Joba wasn’t that great would have been another taxing defeat.  Instead, the Yankees get the luckiest win ever.  And luck, for some reason, has a way of working in baseball.

Because a game was not lost in the standings, it would stink if the Yankees ended up winning the division by one game over the Red Sox because of this.

(By the way, I loved the fact that someone, I think it was Melky, jumped on A-Rod’s back and was staying there for a few seconds… a guy who just had hip surgery a few months ago and I’m sure shouldn’t be having to hold up a svelte guy like Melky.)

Good Start to this Yankees Series

June 10th, 2009

The only thing that didn’t go the Red Sox way last night was the fact that they didn’t get a chance to bat in the ninth inning against the Yankees.

To keep this train rolling against New York, the best (and obvious) way to do that is to kill their pitching while trying to keep Boston’s staff in good order.  Seems simple enough, I guess.

Step 1: Knock around the starter to get him out of the game early to get into their bullpen.

A.J. Burnett only went 2 2/3 innings, giving up five runs (three earned) on five hits to go along with his five walks.  To say that he wasn’t great is a bit of an understatement, with only 40 of his 84 pitches going for strikes.

Step 2: Spend their bullpen to make it weaker in the remaining two games of the series.

Three pitchers went 5 1/3 throwing 95 pitches.  They will most likely not be pitching tomorrow, except maybe having David Robertson for the “just in case.”

Even with one more inning to pitch, the Sox threw 45 fewer times.

With Chien-Ming Wang pitching tonight, there’s a chance that they could put a little more damage into the bullpen as well.  This will be his second start since his DL stint beginning in April, though he has pitched recently in relief.  Ironically, his relief appearances have been much better than his starts.

In the three starts before the “injury,” Wang had gone a combined six innings with a slew of bad stats including a 34.50 ERA.  In his three relief appearances, he had eight innings with a nice 2.25 ERA.  Then a few days ago, he had another bad start, but at least going 4 2/3 to give up five earned runs.

If he is somehow able to give them at least six solid innings then Wang should be able to help out the pitching staff, especially with the horse Sabathia going tomorrow.  But if he has to be pulled early, and the Yankees have to tax their bullpen even more, that will put even more of an onus on C.C. to try to pitch a complete game.

With all that said, I’m sure now Wakefield will get lit up, Wang will pitch well, and no of this will even matter.

Juiced in Mannywood

May 10th, 2009

So, Manny Ramirez has tested positive for a performance enhancing drug, and will serve his 50 game suspension.

And I have been getting some razzing by friends who are Yankees fans: It’s finally time that a (former) Red Sox has been accused of using PEDs; one of their key players on their 2004 and 2007 teams.  In a stretch of bad breaks for their team (Giambi’s admission of something not specific to A-Rod’s, well, everything), it is something that they can come back and say “Ha.”

While it definitely sucks that he was caught, I guess I can take some solace in the fact that he is a LA Dodger and not a Boston Red Sox.  But there is no denying that there could now be the suspicion that he’s been using for a long time.

The fact that Manny is not going to fight this at all is a bit odd, though.  He’s saying that he took a banned substance that he and his doctor didn’t realize was on the list.  There’s a small chance that he might be telling the truth, and it is something weird that a doctor from Florida (they always seem to be from Florida) would have prescribed to Manny because he is looking to become more fertile.  But one would have to reason that he just took his lumps to keep them from looking any further into what was really going on.

There is one thing that I would have to agree with Manny in his brief admission statement: he was tested many times before and has never failed.  While I think that the number 15 is just slightly exaggerated, I wouldn’t be surprised if it were a few times that he was actually tested.

This could be due to the fact that maybe they didn’t have the test in place before for this specific drug, HGC.  Or maybe he didn’t start doing steroids until recently.

A 36-year-old ballplayer who relies heavily on his offensive numbers and was searching for a 4-year, $100 million dollar contract at the end of the year would have had to make his second half of 2008 spectacular.  Which it was.  And like Mark McGuire and Sammy Sosa in the late 90s when they were hitting bombs and everyone was fawning over them, everyone was saying the same thing with Manny in LA.

Look how he can hit when he wants to hit.  Look at him try.

Outside of the fact that it just proved that he was a quitter in Boston (and I’m shocked that it showed in the lack of interest in him this off-season), maybe it was just evidenced that he started juicing when he got there.  But I imagine if that were the case, and not that I’m an expert in steroids and cycles, but I would guess for him to be productive in the second half of a season, he would’ve had to start long before the trade.

Or maybe he was just using steroids to recover from his hamstring injuries that have plagued him while he was in Boston.  And he wouldn’t have to remember which one it would be.  It would have taken care of both of them.