I told you so…

After a much-needed, friendly reminder from one of my No.1 fans (you know who you are!) I’m holding true to my message that I’ll blog more this season. But before I get into it, let me explain why I was such a slacker the past few weeks. I don’t like to blog unless I’ve been watching the games, I hate those people that watch the highlights and check the box scores and then think they can just recite that and it’s good blog-fodder. So I like to make sure I at least have an in-depth idea of what’s going on before I sit and post.

Watching the third game at Toronto, I like what Julian Tavarez is doing so far…but it’s only the bottom of the third. One inning at a time, Julian, that’s all I can hope for!

Toot-my-own-horn notice: I like seeing Adam Lind and Aaron Hill do well for the Jays and I like to tink it has a little to do with my stellar coverage of them when they were with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Double-AA Toronto team) for MiLB.com.

Okay, that was my "look I’ve talked to them before they were big shots" moment. Every now and then I’ll have them when I see one of the many Minor Leaguers I’ve chatted with in the Bigs. PS…great 1-4-3 double play set off by Tavarez…keep it going Julie Jules!!

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It has begun

I say at the beginning of every season but this time I mean it, I promise.

I am going to blog on a regular basis.

As recent events have left my schedule wide open, it just means I have more time to devote to my mistress, or mister, the Red Sox. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not just here because my dance card is on hiatus for a while, but because there’s a certain something in the air. It’s that baseball-in-April feeling, the one I’ve been waiting for since the Patriots broke my heart  (something I’m still reeling over) on a cold January evening in Indianapolis.

I admit I haven’t had too much time to watch Spring Training games and did miss Schilling’s "beauty" on opening day, but last night’s game with Beckett on the mound and today’s Daisuke debut have had me sitting in front of the t.v. with my yearly this-is-our-year feeling. It’s the top of the eighth and just as I’m wondering where last night’s offense was, the Royals answered. Three KCesque defensive plays have allowed us to pull ahead, 4-1, with the bases loaded and two outs.

It’s only the third game of ’07, I know, but being able to convert on opponents’ mistakes just wasn’t something we could do last year. Picking up two runs on three errors is exactly the kind of we’re-not-down-til-the-final-out attitude I missed from last season’s squad.

There’s a new sense of refreshed energy in these parts…the Red Sox season has officially begun…

Tangent time

Time for me to jump off topic for a quick second and write about Sunday’s FIFA World Cup match. First off, I’m psyched Italy won for plenty of reasons, one of whichhas to do with me deciding the Italian players were by far the best looking guys in the tourney (Yes, I know I’m supposed to be a professional, but jeez, I’m still a girl).

I just can’t resist weighing on the whole Zidane issue, which I had gotten over until the subject was reopened while I was at the office today and my co-sports reporter Matt and hashed it out.

Yes, Zidane is perhaps one of the best players of the game, but that does not mean he has license to lose control whenever he feels like it. Look, I don’t care what Marco Materazzi said-and trust me, I’ve heard the different theories: something about Zidane’s mother, his sister or calling him a terrorist. Heck, I even heard the one about Materazzi giving Zidane a ‘****** tweak’-you don’t just randomly head-butt the guy in the chest and put your team in jeopardy like that.

Bad move by someone who’s supposed to be the team leader. We all know the outcome could’ve been much different had he been around during the shootout.

Alls well that ends well, I guess; Zidane wins the Golden Ball while the Italians-oh those good looking stallions-take home the big prize.

Okay back to baseball, though I would like to hear thoughts on this too…..

Catching up

Ok, I know I said-oops, I mean wrote- I’d blog more often and keep things updated more but hte wonderful world of MiLB.com is just keeping me so busy.

But seriously, I’ve still been watching the Sox regularly and still been forming opinions, just not sharing them with you all. So here goes, it’s the All-Star break and we’re 3 games up. It’s not the same as being 13 games up, but it’s no surprise and we Sox fans know all too well what it’s like to be strong in the first-half and fall flat on our faces post-All-Star break.

As for the Manny controversy, here’s the deal. Yes, I know it’s a big deal to the fans to see him play because it’s such an honor to be selected, but and here’s a big BUT, who say’s it’s mandatory?! No one, there is no rule that says players must play in the Classic if chosen, so quit the whining and just be glad the Sox didn’t let MLB know the night before the game, causing some other player to mess his three-days-off plans.

Seriously, Selig needs to stop complaining about Manny’s choice not to play and concentrate on cleaning up the sport. You’ve got bigger problems Bud, so leave Manny alone and go after the juicers for a bit.

Besides with all the cable advancements these days, it’s not like people all over the country don’t get a chance to watch players outside their areas play. It’s called the internet folks! So stop with the "But the All-Star game is my only chance to see the best players from other teams," excuse because it’s not anymore!

Ok, I have more thoughts on other things so I’ll just start a new post….

quit your whining and pitch

Here’s the thing that most bothers me about Keith Foulke. Not that he ****** last year. Not even that he’s been pitching arguably well-numbers wise-this year and still somehow manages to give fans an uneasy feeling. I say, arguably well because his stats show he’s been pretty decent with 24-plus innings pitched, 19 ks and 3 walks. But my gut tells me otherwise.

Two years ago, I used to have this calm, soothing feeling when Foulkie took the mound. This year: not so much. Evidenced by him giving back-to-back home runs last night in the ninth inning. And everyone says it’s okay b/c we had a 9-1 lead going into the inning anyways, but that’s not the point. That doesn’t mean you slack off just because you’re ahead. You play every night, every batter as if you were in the bottom of the ninth with the tying run on third.

That’s how you pitch regardless what the scoreboard says. So, no, it’s NOT okay he pitched that way just b/c we won anyways.

But I digress, and I still have to tell you what really irks me about Foulke. It’s his annoying habit of getting so angry after giving up a bomb late in the game. That camera shot where you see him dropping F-bombs and getting all huffy and puffy.

Don’t do that Keith, it’s your own fault for throwing a meatball down the center of the plate! And don’t give me this "it’s all mental thing," either b/c with $7 million dollars a year, I’m sure you could afford to get that head of yours straitened out.

So, let’s just wait and watch as Kieth Foulke keeps pounding his fist every time someone takes him deep and we DON’T have the luxury of an eight-run lead!

To count or not to Count?

There’s a reason managers use pitch counts. When Curt Schilling threw 133 pitches, he went over his pitch count and I don’t think he’s been the same since. It hasn’t been night and day such as Josh Beckett pre-Cleveland Indians and Josh Becket post-Cleveland Indians, but he certainly threw some meatballs in Yankee Stadium last night.

I don’t care how well you’re pitching, that’s what we have a bullpen for. Why risk a multitude of possible shaky starts for the sake of one win. Besides, if the starter’s doing so well, you should be leading and can depend on a combo of relievers to close the deal if need be.

So that’s just it, Francona should have never let Schilling start the last inning, we were leading, Cleveland’s offense had been shut down and the momentum wasn’t going to return in the final innings. Now you have Curt coming out and he doesn’t look the same, he’s hanging balls right over the plate, getting behind hitters early, and American League hitters will make him-and the Sox-pay.

It’s called pacing yourself…it’s only May and I’d like our pitchers ready to go come October, thank you very much!

PS

Oh yeah…at the same time Bronson Arroyo was earning his fifth win, WIlly Mo Pena hit an inning-ending fly ball to left field with the bases loaded.

Enuff said…