The Playoffs Are Near and Our Health Meter is Rising.
Some fans are starting to give Drew some praise for his recent success, as he has been on base 24 times in the past 11 games. After I had to listen to numerous shots at him for the first part of the year, the Bostonians are coming around while he is playing well. What a surprise…Red Sox fans. The fourteen million doesnt, and never did help the situation, as a player making that much money will be expected to contribute immediately. But Drew did not, and simply had to listen to the boos and sighs that come along with playing in Boston. The guy is a pretty good player, and will prove it throughout the contract, at least when he is on the field. But getting on him all year has been a little unnecessary. The walk is not exactly an exciting feat from the bleacher seats. And many Red Sox fans may never embrace him because some may think that drawing a walk has nothing to do with the hitter, as they believed in the very early 1900’s and did not even include them in the box score (as I learned in James’ Historical Baseball Abstract). He may never be embraced because he doesn’t roll around in dirt and rub it all over his face intentionally (Trot Nixon). And he may not be embraced because he will probably never be worth $14 million in a single season. That does not mean that he will not be a pretty good player, but that he probably will not be THAT good. I know this, if JD Drew is not the focal point of this offense it will be ok. But if Ortiz and Manny decline some more, and the team does not go out and sign someone who will help the offense, then it will put even more emphasis on Drew, and that is not a good thing. It is fine if he is the fourth or fifth best offensive player they have during the remainder of the contract. But I don’t like relying on him. Pretty good player, great at getting on base, has all five tools, but he is not great, and I never thought he was [great].
An excerpt my Dad sent me in an email, formulated by Bob Costas:
"Wild Card Playoff – says kill the wild-card and give the best record in each league a first-round bye. His argument revolves around the importance of pennant races to the game of baseball. The wild-card spot negates any pennant races, since second place wins a post-season spot, too. He says that the end of the season is more exciting without the wild-card."
"This is some of what is in his book called "Fair Ball". The Wild Card does nothing more than let 2nd place teams (which have already proven that they are not as good as the team above them) a possible shot at playing in The . For 95 years no 2nd place team ever played in The . A bunch have in the last 12 years. This down grades the integrity of the and kills pennant races forever. This all came about after the strike to ****** in "uninformed fans" to watch more games and have more teams still hanging around at the end when they shouldn’t be just to bleed every last dollar from fans that they can get to make up for the greedy players and owners 1994 strike that took steroid home runs to fix. Yes. THIS year it looks like the Red Sox will take 1st place. The 2nd place finisher sould be done. But this also applies the 2004. I was on the field at in 1967 when the Red Sox clinched the American League pennant. Nothing has come even close to that in the last 40 years. I can’t imagine how I would have felt at the end of the day if they would have said " Hey. You guys have to go and play the Twins again tomorrow and beat them again to see if you can go to the ". The 2 BEST teams should be in the every year. If it is the Yankees every year because they spend more money then so be it. MLB should fix THAT separate issue but not allow subpar teams in as a cheap way out to keep fans (and Donald Fehr) happy."
(Edit: The second quote is actually my Dad’s as he has carried this opinion ever since the Wild Card came into play. He actually said he was driving down 125 (road in NH) I believe and they announced it on a sports talk show. From what I could gather from the way he described it, there were fast food napkins strewn across the interior and ketchup packets entangled with mustard packets. And the air freshener became best friends with the open road. Ok, that was a bit of an exaggeration, but he was disappointed. Originally, I had thought the entire email was Costas’ opinion, but my Uncle informed me that the second part was my father.
I agree with this, and Costas makes many valid points, but the financial situation in my opinion needs to be taken care of first.
If clutch doesn’t exist to some, do not tell that to Padres fans as Brian Giles hit a magnificently clutch home run last night.
Eric Gagne was not as miserable last night as he has been at times since being acquired by the Red Sox. But he still let two base runners reach, and had to be relieved by Papelbon with two outs in the 8th. Papelbon came in and threw one pitch getting out of the jam. The Red Sox built the lead up to 7-1 in the bottom of the inning, and Papelbon was given the rest of the night off. They brought Papelbon in to get out of the most critical situation. They did what they should have done. No one could have foreseen that they score more runs later in the inning, but regardless, Papelbon could have put down four A’s batters if necessary.
I was watching the "Gameday" version of the Yankees and Devil Rays last night, and was wondering where Joba Chamberlian was. Farnsworth pitched the 8th. Ok, I mean someone had to pitch it and it was against the 8, 9, and 1 hitters. The ninth went to Veras who did not give up any runs, but still Joba was the better option. But in the 10th, in a tie game, Torre turned to Jeff Karstens over Joba or Rivera. Why? Torre has the most dominant arm coming out of the pen in Joba Chamberlain in all of baseball lately. Now this could be because no one is familiar with him, but still he is mowing hitters down. So why did they not use him? They could have used Joba in any single inning, whether it was the 8th, the 9th, or the 10th. But they didn’t, and if some huge collapse took place, and I mean huge, then this would be the biggest reason why. But Francona likes to mismanage the bullpen too, so it is familiar territory.