Red Sox vs. Yankees, Loretta vs. Mueller and the David Pauley Bandwagon

These Red Sox vs. Yankees series are all the same nowadays. In a given three game series, we’ll see the Yankees destroy the Red Sox once, the Red Sox destroy the Yankees once, and we’ll see one nail biter. My rough count is TEN from 2002-2006. Four game series are a bit of an exception, but we’ve already seen the Yankees smack the Red Sox around, and today (Wednesday) we’ve got another close one. Mark my word, the Red Sox will smack the Yankees around hard in one of these games.
On the flip, the games may be blurring together, but lets not forget their importance. The only reason the Yankees won last year’s AL Pennant is that they beat Boston in the season series, nine games to eight. Whew!

Mark Loretta reminds me a lot of Bill Muellar. Both are very good and underrated players both offensively and defensively. They both come through in clutch and are good for a couple of game winners. They’re both aging. They will always play well and occasionally will play great. Above all, they are graceful and talented and play baseball with dignity, humility and passion.

I am officially on the David Pauley bandwagon. Go Pauley!

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Welcome Back Mirabelli!

In my last blog, I suggested the solution to Josh Bard’s abysmal play is to bring him behind Fenway Park and shoot him. I think Theo Epstein’s plan, trading him and Cla Meredith for Doug Mirabelli, is a much better idea. Bard was killing the team on both sides of the plate with lousy defense and combining with Alex Gonzalez for an automatic two outs in a row. I have to admit, I will miss getting on his back. I will especially miss my “You **** [starts with ‘s,’ rhymes with luck], Bard!” chant.

That having been said, I am thrilled that Mirabelli is back. The defense can now stop blowing Wakefield’s games (some offense would help, too). Some offense out of the catcher’s position would be nice, too. Mirabelli knows how to call a good game for Wakefield, and with Wakefield signed for essentially his entire life, we’ve got to have a good receiver available for him. One pre-trade rumor stated a possible replacement for Bard was something like 1 for 56 lifetime in the major leagues. Yikes.

I also have to take a minute to give it up for Mike Lowell. He has been playing great defense, and his offensive stroke seems to have returned. He also hits Fenway well, and it will be fun to see him hit John Valentin-like doubles off the wall all season long.

Price of seeing Johnny Damon almost cry when fans booed and threw money at him? Negative $52 million.

Red Sox in April, a.k.a. You ****, Bard!

Hi Red Sox fans. Roger Goldberg here. I’m been following the Red Sox pretty closely in the early goings, and I thought I’d share some of my thoughts.

First of all, holy ****, Papelbon! Could it be? Is this kid for real? Remember, Aaron Sele started his Red Sox career 7-0, so I’m not going to crown Papelbon the next Roger Clements just yet. On the flip, hot ****! Has there been a nastier and more exciting young arm come up through the system than Papelbon, um, ever???

I dont mind Papelbon being the closer in the early goings while he is living by his heater and still developing the rest of his repitoire (wait, his stuff is this sexy, and hes still developing? Yikes!). However, Papelbon was born to be a starter. Period. Lenny Retardo is currently in the starting rotation, so its clear were going to have to plug that leak. Let Papelbon close until the All-Star break, then put him in the rotation, bring up another of those smokin young arms to close, and bring DiNardo out behind the Green Monster and shoot him.

By the way, Boston media, please stop making me believe Roger Clemens is coming back to Boston. The possible rotation of Schilling-Beckett-Clemens-Papelbon-Wakefield is way too exciting. Worth an extra 20 million this year? Absolutely.

I really don’t think it would be fair to judge this teams offense just yet. Coco Crisp has been hurt. He really put a spark into the games he played before he went down. I look forward to watching Big Papi doubling home Coco all season long. Manny has yet to hit his stride, and by his stride, I mean the baseball. A few Manny dingers at the right time means the difference between "we’re winning a lot of one-run games" and "we’re winning a lot of games." Manny and Coco are obviously huge parts of this offense, so we really won’t know what these bats can do until theyre back.

I will say that Kevin Youkilis is the freakin’ man. All it took was letting the kid play every day. Turns out he is as good as Moneyball says! He is also hustling his *** off and seems to genuinely enjoy being in the ballgame. Youk and Coco smiling all season equals good times for Red Sox nation.

The defense has been disappointing, especially considering its lofty expectations. Gonzalez is slick, and catching Loretta’s deflection and turning it into a double play was ridiculous. The problem is, the infield giveth, and Wily Mo and Josh Bard taketh away. Josh Bard is abysmal. My new favorite saying is "You ****, Bard!" Its true, and its fun to say. Go ahead. Try it out. When youre done, call the Padres and ask them if they still need Mirabelli. I can dig the whole work-in-progress thing with Wily Mo, but which prospect do we have to give up to get his glove, too? I am still optimistic that Wily Mo will come around, but Josh Bard is high on my list of players to shoot.

A quick hit on next years right field situation. I say keep Trot. The grit he brings to the field and its effect on the rest of the team cant be measured in sabermetrics. If we have to lose him, how about Adam Stern in right field?

Finally, I want to say that I think weve got a really interesting team on our hands with great potential. I am looking forward to seeing how this season will play out.

P.S. I think I want to shoot J.T. Snow, too, but Im not quite sure why.



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