Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Five Swings: Not Going Anywhere?

The Red Sox finished the homestand 7-3, winning two of the three series but not really gaining much ground.

1. "Get away day" I didn't see the game today, but apparently 2:32 wasn't quick enough for Dale Scott. Rumor has it that the strike zone expanded faster than the Gulf of Mexico oil slick, with David Ortiz looking at a third strike as though he was looking through the wrong end of the pitches were so far outside. Terry Francona got tossed for arguing balls and strikes, and Dale Scott called a "soup's on the table" game. From a Sox fan: I eyeball about 16 strikes called in favor of Toronto pitchers that were balls (though some are close) and maybe 2 inaccurate calls that favored the Red Sox pitchers. I'm not a conspiracy theorist, and I honestly don't believe Dale Scott was out to get the Sox today. What you do have here, though, is ample evidence of a really poorly called game by the home plate umpire - which in this case, happened to favor the Jays.

2. Bench Jockeys. Help me out here. What's the best bench jockey line you've ever heard? I'm not talking, "did you forget your guide dog" or "where's the white cane blue?" How about, "they paying you for THAT?" Or, "forget about umpiring in the post-season" or maybe "got a plane to catch." I'm old-fashioned and like, "don't make me come out there."

3. 37,198. If you didn't want to sell out a game, wouldn't a 1 PM Thursday game be a good way to do it? Wrong. The paid attendance was 100.7 percent of regular season capacity. The 573rd consecutive sell-out at America's Most Beloved Ballpark didn't end quite as well as fans would have liked with the two run ninth inning rally falling short.

4. Miracles Never Cease. Daisuke Matsuzaka notched a seven-inning zero-walk game last night for his best game in a Sox uniform in many moons. The so-called "power nibbler" continued his mastery of the Jays. The best part of baseball for me is the regular appearance of 'things you don't see". And a walk-free Matsuzaka quality start definitely isn't something on Sox fans' radar.

5. Wakefield of Dreams? Tim Wakefield remains unhappy about his role. You can probably add him to the list of Jason Varitek, David Ortiz, Mike Lowell, and maybe Jeremy Hermida. I doubt that Mike Cameron or Jacoby Ellsbury are thrilled about their seasons either. And if Terry Francona is happy, that would come as quite a surprise, too. Aging, sometimes product players harken back to better days. Younger players look to break into the lineup. According to Mike Reiss, Wakefield's winless in his last nine starts, so maybe the Sox are a little unhappy with his roll as well...

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