To paraphrase the old movie Parenthood, baseball is much more of a roller coaster than a merry-go-round. Also, by virtue of playing almost daily, the Red Sox and others are subjected to our microanalysis, which overplays the importance of each game.
First, to lighten the mood, another story from the late Vin Orlando. Years ago, the players were congregated in the clubhouse, being regaled by the troubled Jimmy Piersall about how strong he was and how he could outperform anyone on the team on an arm-strengthening machine. The machine had a broomstick/dowel fixed to a rope and pulley system with a weight on the other end. By rolling your wrists and tightening the rope, a player could develop his forearm strength. Piersall boasted that he could do three times as many as any player on the team. Ted Williams told Piersall to shut up and "stop being an asshole."
As players occasionally do, they made a friendly wager, with players putting their money on Piersall or Williams. According to Vin, everyone except shortstop Don Buddin went with Piersall, who proceeded to grind out 50 repetitions. Williams got in position and proceeded to make the weight ascend and descend "like a machine", stopping at 150. He left Piersall with a thought, "Jim, by the way, I invented this machine."
Tampa knocked off the Sox again Saturday night, topping the Sox 6-5, sending the Sox and Curt Schilling to a second consecutive defeat. Schilling appeared strong and loose, but had trouble with his command, and like real estate, it's about 'location, location, location.'
Wasted in the defeat were two tape-measure shots by David Ortiz (6) including the latter estimated at 455 feet. The Sox had opportunities in the eighth but couldn't push across the tying run.
Before Manny Ramirez grounded out to end the game, he took a 2-2 Travis Harper offering that appeared to be strike three. Unfortunately, Ramirez' out obviated a likely Lou Piniella meltdown.
Farm Aid. The Portland Sea Dogs, the Sox AA entry in the Eastern League, lost 4-3 Friday night to Harrisburg in fourteen innings and got rained out yesterday. Top prospects Dustin Pedroia (.358), Hanley Ramirez (.312), and Brandon Moss (.212) had two hits apiece. Jared Sandberg hammered out another home run.
Here's a report from www.soxprospects.com on Portland http://www.soxprospects.com/news/04.20.2005.htm
Kelly Shoppach homered twice in one inning for the PawSox as they routed Buffalo 14-5.
At High A Wilmington, Anibal Sanchez has 28 strikeouts and one walk in 14 innings.
Local kid report. Righthanded pitcher Eric Drown from Ipswich continues to rehab with the St. Louis Cardinals at extended spring training after undergoing off season arm surgery.
Useless daily stats. The Red Sox are now 8-3 (.727) in games with quality starts and 2-5 (.286) and have fallen to 2-5 (.286) in one-run games, which generally reflects on the bullpen.
Although the Sox lost, sports fans had a lot to be thankful for yesterday, including the NFL draft (day 1) and the Celtics blowing out Indiana in Game 1 of the NBA playoffs.