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Posts Tagged ‘Terry Francona’

Red Sox- 2007 World Series Champs

Posted by Brad on October 29, 2007

How to begin a post about the champion Red Sox…?  Honestly, that’s the best I can do for you guys.  I can’t say “finally” like I could in ’04 and I can’t say “Aaron (insert expletive here) Boone” like in ’03.  No, I am not that creative of a writer (I have as much creativity in me as Bill Belichick has personality).  But, I can sayone thing perfectly, “The Sox are the 2007 World Series Champions (can you believe it?).  They were able to complete the sweep of the Colorado Rockies last night (at midnight, mind you).

In a game in which cancer survivor Jon Lester pitched an absolute gem, the Sox were able to hold onto a 3-0 lead in the seventh to win the World Series (I just can’t stop saying it).  Jacoby Ellsbury was 2-4, Mike Lowell (series MVP, see below) was 2-4 with a big solo shot in the seventh.  Jason Varitek went 2-4 with an RBI, Bobby Kielty had a big HR in the eighth and David Ortiz drove in one run in the first.  Although the big two (Ortiz and Manny Ramirez) were a combined 1-7, the rest of the team was able to get it done.

But, aside from the Sox winning it all, the story of the night was Jon Lester.  Less than one year after being cured of cancer, he was able to start (and win) the clincher of the World Series, in his first career start.  He went a solid 5.2 innings giving up three hits and zero runs.  This guy pitched unbelievable, and I can’t think of anyone more deserving than this guy.  In relief, Manny Delcarmen gave up two hits and a run (he struggled in the postseason, see report card tomorrow), Mike Timlin gave up nothing, Hideki Okajima gave up two hits and two runs and Papelbon closed it out with a perfect 1.2 innings (and he promised a dance tomorrow… see below).

I almost feel bad for the Rockies, as they got caught in an avalanche in this series (so many good puns for this team).  Although they were a great story in the postseason, they just didn’t match up to the Red Sox (period, no debating, end quote).  Todd Helton was 2-4, while Kaz Matsui, Garret Atkins, Brad Hawpe, Aaron Cook and Cory Sullivan had hits, with Garret Atkins and Brad Hawpe drove in runs with homers.

Although their starter Aaron Cook, it just wasn’t good enough to beat the Sox with that crappy (pardon the mild language, as I take pride in my lack thereof) offense of theirs.  He went six innings, giving up three runs on six hits.  Jeremy Affleldt pitched a solid seventh, giving up one hit, Brian Fuentes gave up one run in 0.2 innings and Manny Corpas pitched a perfect 1.1 to finish the game.  This team never had a shot in this one, although they did stage a late inning comeback, the Kielty homer did them in.

All right, now that you are up to date, lets talk about some of the other stuff.  The Series MVP could have gone to pretty much anyone on the Sox (well, Alex Cora and Eric Hinske could be debated…), but it was awarded to Mike Lowell.  This was a pretty good choice, as he hit .400, scoring six runs and driving in four.  I’m okay with this choice, but I would have gone with either Jacoby Ellsbury or Dustin Pedroia, leaning toward the former.  Both of these guys set the table for everyone else, and probably deserved it a little more (nothing against Lowell).  Overall, though, congrats to Mike Lowell, as you are clearly very deserving.

The question now, and I am afraid to write it out loud, “Could this be the start of a dynasty?”  I don’t want to be known as “The Curse of the BoSoxFriends,” but can they do it?  We have a bunch of young talent who could definitely get it done in the future.  Terry is a good coach (see below) and if we can keep the big time veterans, we might have a shot.  Maybe we’ll talk about that more tomorrow.

And, I would like to apologize to Terry Francona for all my rude and unnecessary comments about him.  Although you did make many mistakes (even you can admit that…), you were able to get it done in the end, and that is all that really matters.  Hopefully, you’ll come back next year and do it again. 

As for the 2007 Red Sox “rolling rally” Mayor Tom Menino announced it would be held tomorrow (dang school…).  According to hime, it will begin at Fenway Park and will end at City Hall Plaza.  I have heard speculation there will be a stage at the plaza where Paps will do the dance, but we know he will be on the duckboats during the route.  We’ll see, it should be a fun day (that I won’t be a part of…).  There will also be three Jumbo screens set up along the route (at the Common, Copley and City Hall Plaza).  But, the duckboats will NOT pass through the Charles, so don’t go reserving your seats there.

Anyway, hopefully some of you will be able to go down there and tell me about all the fun things that I missed.  And so, I would like to congratulate the 2007 Boston Red Sox for your World Series (just love saying that) victory.  And, I think we should all be thanking them for an outlet from everything going on in the world and giving a city a chance to bond and agree on one thing… THE YANKEES (insert expletive)!

Okay, a couple more things before I leave you until tomorrow.  Obviously, this is not a day for the Pats, but they destroyed the Redskins yesterday, 52-7.  There has been much speculation that the Pats have been running up the score.  Well, they are.  BUT, Bill is just angry (I would use stronger language, but…) that these idiots found him guilty about “Videogate”.  He is trying to prove we didn’t win those championships by cheating, and I applaud him for that.  They’ll be in a showdown with the Colts next week, so stay tuned to BoSoxFriends for continuing coverage. 

Also, we’ll be doing a Red Sox 2007 season report card tomorrow here on BoSoxFriends, where we will rate the starters at each position and the grad for the season, please check that out for tomorrow.  And you’ll obviously be seeing color changes as the Sox season ends and the Pats is in full swing.

Congrats to the 2007 World Champion Red Sox…

Talk at ‘ya later. 

Posted in Clay Buchholz, Curt Schilling, Daisuke Matsuzaka, David Oriz, Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, Josh Beckett, Kevin Youkilis, Manny Ramirez, Patriots, Red Sox, Tim Wakefield, Tom Brady | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

World Series- Game Three

Posted by Brad on October 27, 2007

Allright, we’ve got a big game tonight, Game Three of the World Series as the series shifts over to chilly Denver (why didn’t they put on a roof?).  Daisuke Matsuzaka will be taking the bump against Rockies righty Josh Fogg (add the extra “g” for Game Three loser [sorry, there’s nothing better with a “g”]).  Josh Fogg has a 1.13 ERA in the postseason while Dice-K has a 5.65 ERA in the postseason.

I am worried for Dice-K in this particular matchup (what else is new?).  He has never pitched in such thin air before, and so I expect him to struggle in the early innings as he tries to adjust to that and the temperature.  The Rockies batters are used to this, and so I expect them to hit him (to an extent…).  I would expect to see Javier Lopez used for a couple innings, as he used to pitch for Colorado and is used to the weather.  I think he’ll be able to pitch well.

As for Fogg, I think he will pitch pretty well.  Since he isn’t exactly an ace (he ALMOST wasn’t the game three starter), I don’t think he will completely shut down the Sox bats.  But, I expect the Sox, who have only had been there a few days, to have some troubles.  But, overall, Fogg will pitch fairly well and give the Rockies a fighters chance to win the game (but remember, the extra “g” doesn’t stand for great…).

You’ll notice I am talking about the weather a lot.  Well, if you ask any doctor, they’ll tell you that it is much harder to breathe if you are not used to it.  This is why I think the Sox could struggle in Denver.  This team has a legitamate home-field advantage, not just the fans.  They had one of the best home records in all of baseball, and that is not a surprise, as they should.

The Sox bats will be quieter than in the first game, similar to Game Two.  I think they’ll be able to get 3-4 runs across, but that is it.  I DO think Manny is going to have a big night (obviously) and Big Papi is not (see below).  I think Pedroia is going to get on base and give Papi the chance to drive in runs, but he’ll leave them stranded.  J.D. Drew is finally going to cool off (it’s just a matter of time) and Julio Lugo is actually going to play well (gotta love the bold predictions).

The Rockies bats are going to enjoy being back at Coors.  This team will be re-energized by the fans (and by the nippiness) and the bats will come alive, to an extent.  Matt (it’s a) Holliday is going to play well and drive in a couple, while Todd Helton will to the same.  I think Yorvit Torrealba is also going to break out of his funk, as he bats a much higher average at home than away.  Unfortunately (for the Rockies), these are going to be the only guys hitting.

All right, I mentioned David Ortiz earlier, and how he is going to have a slow night.  Well, here is why I think Terry Francona should have stuck with Kevin Youkilis at first base as we go into the NL park.  Kevin Youkilis has a higher batting average, more RBI and more HR in the playoffs so far.  Also, I think it is clear that ‘Youk is in better athletic shape than Big Papi.  So, Big Papi is going to have a harder time breathing that Youkilis (no offense, David).  I would rather see Ortiz come in as a late inning pinch-hitter than risk it.  I realize he is one of the greatest clutch performers ever (see, I can be nice, too), but ‘Youk deserves to be in there.  So Terry, I’ll go for it for one game, but David better perform in these three games (or if we lose, “you’re fired”).

Obviously, if we win this game, the series is pretty much over (unless the Rockies pull a Red Sox).  I think Dice-K and Fogg are going to pitch pretty much equally in this game, and it is going to come down to the bats.  The Sox bats are just going to play better than the Rockies tonight.  I’d love to pick the Rockies in this game, but there is a reason why I called this blog “bosoxfriends” (’cause I love the Sox, for you idiots out there), and I predict the Sox will beat the Rockies in a close one, by a final of 4-3.  I wouldn’t be surprised if this one goes into extras (which would stink for me, ’cause I have church in the morning) but we’ll pull it out in the end.

Also, Jacoby Ellsbury will be at the top of the lineup tonight, instead of Dustin Pedroia.  I like this move because Ellsbury es my rapido (very fast, a little espanol).  He can make stuff happen at the top of the order, and don’t think we’ll regret this mistake.

And, I’ve neglected to talk about the Bruins as of late, and so lets talk about their game today against the Flyers, shall we (not really a question, because I’m the writer)?  They lost to the flyers this afternoon by a score of 2-1.  The Bruins record fell to a solid 6-4-0, while the Flyers improved to 7-3-0.  The Bruins got their goal from Marco Sturm, while the Flyers got their goals from Joffery Lupul and Mike Richards.

Tim Thomas played well in this game, recording 26 saves and giving up only the two goals.  But, he was outplayed by veteran Martin Biron.  No-one expected the Bruins to continue playing at the level they had been playing at near the beginning of the season, and I think they have begun their fall from grace (if they ever had grace), as they have lost two of the last three games.  I don’t think they will malke the playoffs, but will (hopefully) stay in the hun the whole way.  I hope I am wrong (honestly, I am a B’s fan, but it’s so easy to make fun of them), but I don’t think they can do it.  Sorry fellow Bostonians.

By the way, I would like to apologize for telling you guys the OSU-PSU game was last night.  Try to keep an eye on that game TONIGHT.

Talk at ‘ya later.

Posted in Bruins, Daisuke Matsuzaka, David Oriz, Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, Kevin Youkilis, Manny Ramirez, Red Sox | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

World Series- Game One

Posted by Brad on October 24, 2007

The Red Sox are playing in Game One of the 2007 World Series against the Rockies tonight at 8:25 (approx. they have messed up times…).  Josh Beckett will be facing off against Rockies ace Jeff Francis in Fenway.  Josh Beckett has pitched as close to perfect as a starter can in the playoffs thus far (seriously, he’s been awesome), and Jeff Francis has a 2.13 ERA in the playoffs thus far.

The Sox come into the game off a big time ALCS victory over the Cleveland Indians, winning three in a row after being down three games to one (blah blah blah).  The Rockies come off of a sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks in the NLCS. 

The Red Sox have been led by and have to continue to be led by Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz.  Although they had a couple of slow games in the last few, they still led the team (save Kielty and Yoooooooooouk) in batting average, with a combined .394 average in the postseason.  They are also leading the way (again, save Youk) with four and three homers, respectively.  These two players HAVE to play big in the Series if the Sox want to have a shot.  I don’t expect JD Drew to play awfully well (no, the Grand Slam was not a “sign” of things to come).  If these guys play badly, I would tend to think the Sox will lose the Series.

The Rockies are led by hard-hitting Matt (it’s a) Holliday in the playoffs thus far, batting .286 with four homers and seven RBI.  He also has no errors and the only outfield assist on the Rockies.  Brad Hawpe also has helped the Rockies.  This rookie is batting .304 in the playoffs so far.  These guys need to play well along with veteran Todd Helton and Troy Tulowitski, both of whom have struggled mightily in the playoffs so far.

In terms of pitching, the Sox hold the clear advantage in tonights game against the Rockies.  Although Jeff Francis is an extremely underrated pitcher, Beckett is still one of the better postseason pitchers in the game (he’s AWESOME).  He should be able to come up with the win over the Rockies, despite his loss to them earlier in the year, 7-1.  Jeff Francis WAS able to beat the Sox back in June in the same game, but that was in the past.

The Sox have an adavantage at pretty much every position (except right field, of course).  Jacoby is probably better than Tavarez.  Although I might consider Kaz Matsui better than Dustin Pedroia, that one is just too close to call.  Lugo has played just as bad as Tulowitski, but Troy is probably the better player on any given night.  So, the Sox have the advantage at 7 of the 10 (including DH) positions.  The Rockies are just overmatched at nearly every position and just aren’t good enough to face a big time AL foe. 

I do expect this to be a blowout by the Red Sox.  Beckett will completely shut down the bats of the Rox (where did that nickname come from, anyway?), especially after the long layoff (oh, and freezing their butts off during practice).  Although the Rockies do have some confidence after the series victory back in June, that was a different Sox team (remember, Manny and Papi struggled.  Ahhhh, those were the days…).  The Rockies just do not have the experience.  Only Wily Tavarez has ANY World Series experience before tonight.

By the way:  Yaz is going to be throwing out the first pitch tonight at Fenway, which is great (he has got to be my favorite player of Sox history). 

And, God help us.  Terry is an idiot.  He decided to leave Eric GAGne on the active roster for the World Series.  I have no idea why he did this (that is rare).  He has no reason to do this and, if we lose the series, should be fired (oops, I mean asked to resign).  Any idiot could figure out he does not belong on the roster and should have been replace with either Julian Tavarez or Bryan Corey.  Terry, you’d better give us a good reason why this happened. 

Overall, the Sox are just the better team, and I predict a solid 5-1 victory tonight at The Fens.    

And, now lets talk about the Bruins (I know, I’m still talking about these guys!).  They lost to their rivals (okay, so no-one cares about this rivalry anymore), the Montreal Canadians, by a final of 6-1.  In a disgarceful performance by offseason pickup Manny Fernandez (he gave up all six goals), the Bruins were just overmatched.  The real reason for their early season success (5-3-0) is because of Tim Thomas.  This guy should be starting pretty much every night, but Claude Julien (isn’t that a great name?) has tried to give Manny the benefit of the doubt (*coughs* Tito *coughs*).  Please start Manny every night, Claude (what have you got to lose, you aren’t SUPPOSED to be good).

And the Eagles are going up against the VT Hokies down in Virginia tommorrow night.  This is the biggest game of the season so far for the Eagles.  If they win this one, they will certify their place as either number one or two in the nation.  We’ll talk about that tommorrow, though.

GO SOX!

Talk at ‘ya later.

Posted in BC Football, Bruins, David Oriz, Jacoby Ellsbury, Josh Beckett, Manny Ramirez, Red Sox | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Sox Lose, Pats Play, B’s Upset (No, Really)

Posted by Brad on October 14, 2007

Let’s start with the Red Sox on a crazy day in Boston Sports.  The Sox lost last night to the Indians by a final score of 13-6 in 11 innings (seriously, it was 11 innings…).  Sox starter Curt Schilling went 4.2 innings, giving up 9 hits and 5 runs while striking out three.  Tribe starter Fausto Carmona went four innings, giving up four hits and four runs.  This is another clear example of how Francona gives his pitchers too long of a leash.

Manny Ramirez went one for four, including a BIG three run homerun off of Rafael Perez in the fifth, followed by a solo blast from Mike Lowell, to give the Sox a lead in the fifth inning.  David Ortiz went one for four, also.  In one play in the fifth, he legged out a would-be DP (your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you) to set up the Manny homer.  By the way, Julio Lugo and J.D. Drew chipped in with a combined two for nine night (notice we won without Drew in the lineup…).

Despite all this, the Indians got homeruns from Jhonny Peralta, Grady Sizemore and Franklin Gutierrez.  Sizemore and Peralta went a combined six for ten with two HR, two doubles, fourteen total bases and five RBI.  Victor Martinez chipped in with a three for four night.  BUT, the hero of the night for the Indians was former Red Sox (great…?) Trot Nixon, who got the game-winning hit in the eleventh off of Javy Lopez (run charged to… ERIC GAG-NE, see below).

Now is the portion of the post where I rant.  Today’s rant: Terry Francona’s idiocy.  I mentioned above that, in my opinion, he left Curt Schilling in the game too long, allowing the Indians to score.  Well, he made another deadly pitching mistake, putting in Eric Gagne.

Okay, I understand.  He was the only available righty left on the team.  Yeah, yeah, I know that.  But seriously, putting in a guy who can’t pitch his way out of a paper bag?  Yes, I know, he’s the guy who came into Dodgers games with “Game Over” flashing on the scoreboard.  But, he isn’t that guy anymore.  Frankly, he should not be on the active roster.  At the beginning of the series, we should have gone with either Clay Buchholz or Kyle Snyder.  Frankly, I would have rather gone with the lefty, Jon Lester.

Now, for those of you who do not know baseball and see how he didn’t give up the runs, Lopez did.  Well, actually, he did.  You see, he came into the game and gave up a hit to Grady Sizemore and a wal to Asdrubal Cabrera.  This is when he came out.  BUT, since the runners he allowed get on base, the runs are charged to him.

So, Terry, smarten up.  If we don’t win this series, I wil be calling for your resignation (aka, if you don’t, you are fired).

Moving on to a happier topic, the Pats are about to begin the second half with the Dallas Cowboys.  They currently lead 28-24.  In a game that has been hyped as a huge game, the Pats are in the midst of a close one. 

Despite the fact he has thrown for over 250 yards, Tom Brady’s head has seemed to not be in the game at times.  He has thrown incompletions to wide open men, thrown them over heads and waited until the play clock wound down to call a timeout (while the clock was stopped).  He has went 23/36 and four TDs!  He has played well, though, despite his head problem.

Wes Welker has two touchdowns (helping my fantasy team).  He also has 109 yards receiving.  But, he has lost one fumble on the day.  Meanwhile, Randy Moss has had a slow day.  He only has three catches for 23 yards (but, it was a TD).  Of course, Brady’s incompletions haven’t helped, as he has been thrown at plenty of times.  Sammie Morris has also had a slow day, rushing for only 14 yards on ten carries.  This, coupled with Brady, has made this a closer game than it should be.

“‘Da ‘Boys” have played a little worse.  Terrell Owens has one touchdown on four catches for 40 yards.  Marion Barber III has only 27 yards on five carries.  But, Tony Romo has gone 16/22 for 173 yards and two touchdowns.  Patrick Crayton got a TD pass.  Their defense got a touchdown from Jason Hatcher and returned it for a touchdown on a Brady fumble.  Nick Folk had a field goal to account for their scoring.

IF Brady can get his head in the game and off of Kate Hudson (in Bob Kraft’s luxury box), the Pats will be able to win easily.  Unfortunately, the O-Line has allowed Brady to be sacked three times.  I’ll update you on this one tommorow.

Finally (and quickly), the Bruins.  They came up with a big upset over the Stanley Cup favorite San Jose Sharks and former Bruin (and friend?  He started playing well when he got traded…) 2-1.  The B’s got goals from Patrice Bergeron and Aaron Ward.  The Sharks got their goal from Milan Michalek.

To me, Tim Thomas asserted himself as the starting goalie over Manny Fernandez.  He has a .957 save percentage while Fernandez has only a .796 save pct.  He had 26 saves on 27 shots.  He has a record of 2-1-0 while Fernandez has a record of 1-1.  Leave Thomas in.

The Bruins raised their record to 3-2-0, good for (wait for it…)  fifth (believe it!) in the East and (oh my gosh) second in the NE division, behind only the Ottawa Senators (who lead the conference). 

Dear Bruins, I am sorry for insulting you in my previous posts, please forgive me (unless you start to crap up the place).

Next B’s game: Thursday at 7:00, the home opener vs. Tampa Bay Lightning.

BY THE WAY: The BCS released their first poll of the season, and BC is ranked only number three!  Behind even USF (how in the world…).  This is why we need a playoff system, because BC could easily beat the Bulls.

Talk at ‘ya later.

Posted in BC Football, Bruins, Curt Schilling, David Oriz, Manny Ramirez, Patriots, Tom Brady | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »