Saturday, May 12, 2007

Trick or Treat in May?

Red Sox fans haven't had a lot to complain about so far this year. The pitching staff has delivered 20 quality starts, the bullpen has shown surprising effectiveness almost front to back, and the offense has been good enough to open up a sizable early-season lead.

This week brought its own revelations or reinforcements of prior beliefs.

  • Know yourself. Daisuke Matsuzaka's performance against the Blue Jays gave fans and MORE IMPORTANTLY Matsuzaka, an injection of self-confidence. Matsuzaka made quality pitches in key situations - the running fastball in to Vernon Wells in particular and the cutter down and away. From a technical standpoint, his release point seemed more consistent and he dropped his elbow less frequently, allowing him to keep the ball down.

  • If it ain't broke, don't fix it. If it is, get surgery. Roy Halladay looked WRONG on Thursday, lacking the fluid delivery characteristic of elite pitchers. From just watching warmups, a casual observer could notice a 'frozen' right side, as his upper body seemed mechanically awkward. Was he protecting his abdominal muscles (from the harbingers of appendicitis) with a flawed motion? I guess that we'll find out next time.

  • Ouch! Wily Mo Pena isn't an enigmatic fourth outfielder. He's a defensively-challenged third outfielder who is 'low cost' insurance. He didn't have a play on the Mora double over his head (he wasn't Roy White playing on the warning track) and he simply botched the subsequent looper. You have to ask yourself how athletes with remarkable hand-eye coordination sometimes misplay 'easy' plays. At least it had no Bucknerian consequences.

  • Candor in the Wind. Curt Schilling will always get a pass here for his contributions in 2004, and as individuals we have to decide whether we care about Schill's thoughts on Barry Bonds, steroids, NAFTA (if he has any), politics, polygamy, or anything else. I enjoy hearing and reading his opinions, but I'm not going to confuse him with Montaigne, Bertrand Russell, or Steven Hawking. But let's not forget that none of them are EVER going to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Well, Schilling might not be either, but he has a chance.

  • Roger Clemens. The word I hear from the 'connected' is that the Clemens immediate family advocated for a circle-closing return to the Hub, but that Roger had other idea$.

  • Hazel Mae. I only know what I see, but aren't the backups getting extra time in the lineup these days? Is Hazel letting herself go, or is she shopping at the high-end maternity boutiques these day? You be the judge.

1 comment:

tom said...

The Asterisk Party
Our Creed

We make no attempt to single out Barry Bonds. Barry just happens to be carrying the steroid banner presently. McGwire, Sosa, Fehr, Selig etc... all of them, in our opinion are guilty of drinking from the steroid trough.

We protest the “steroid era” and like good custodians we do not accept the “everybody did it” excuse... the integrity of the game is at stake.

Future baseball fans will certainly look back on this time... the steroid era... and they will wonder why no one took a stand and called foul.

So this year, we stand up for the past, to show the future, that the now matters. And we will make our stand... in the stands... at the ballpark... for all to see. We knew what was going on and we did not stand by and ignore it.

Our little piece of foam does not attempt to change the record book or right a wrong. That would certainly be beyond our ability and would only add to an already convoluted tangle of words and facts. This little foam asterisk simply allows the fans to demonstrate, in a peaceful simple way, that we were not blind. We were not fooled. And we did not stand by and look the other way while the integrity of the game was ground into the dirt.

The Asterisk Party - Get on Board