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Youk batting third? You've got to be kidding! He's hitting somewhere around .230 and he's hitting third on Tuesday night! I know the Sox are trying to showcase Youk for a possible trade, but the way he is playing, he's losing value every game! Middlebrooks needs to play every single game! Where's the controversy when one guy hits and the other doesn't? I also am impressed with Papi at first base - he looks good there. The way he is hitting, he needs to play in every game in a National League Ballpark - bench either Agon or Youk - neither is worth a hoot so far this year! Benching Agon may wake him up!
I am in favor of combining Youk and Bard in a trade. Bard can't start nor close. He lives on "potential". A very good pitcher could be had. Bring up the kids and bench the "All Stars" who are big disappointments............where's the bravado, Bobby?!
Phil from Idaho
Here is a challenge for our Boston Red Sox, "Post Season 2012" . If these players want to get there, better do it now! Oh, the win last night (Tuesday) was OK but only OK because it could have gone either way real fast and there was no glory in it at all.
Greg * Henderson, NV
I for one have always been upset over the Josh Reddick trade and I believe he was as well. If you read some of the blogs he wrote on, that the only way the Red Sox won two World Series was because Manny and Ortiz were juicing. That blog told me he was more than upset with the trade. Aceves has done well as a closer and he never acts like the spoiled brat named Papelbon that we all did love at one time. The pitching has been very good but they do need run support which they're not getting, men left on base night after night, very frustrating for a pitcher. We need to support our Sox men not keep throwing stones their way.
Phil, I never know if you are serious or playing with our minds. Back in the day, Unitas was the only QB to call his own game. You must remember that there was always a player next to the coach who would run in with the next play. I am not old enough to remember when catchers and pitchers called their own game. I do remember when they called a lot of pitchers. That hasn't changed much. A decision to throw to first is usually made by the catcher or first baseman. It very seldom comes from the bench. You want to bring up Iglesias for the excitement. He has made 7 errors in the minors, is that the excitement you are looking for? You should have your friends Ben and Bobby critique your posts before you submit them.
Tony * Ashland
OK. I have some catching up to do. Now that Cal Ripken Town Ball is over, I have an abundance of free time I can contribute to "On Your Mind" Often I read things that warranty a swift reply, but youth baseball literally monopolizes all my time in April/May. Trish may have to break this up over a couple of days. Or a week. That being said, here we go:
Billy the Bandit: I agree. Leave the game alone. As the only game with no clock (of the big four) I enjoy the pace of the game whether it be a 5 hour slugfest, or a 2 hour pitchers duel. The beauty is not knowing what you are going to get day in & day out. Umpires add the human element. Electronic strikes & umpire reviews will only hurt the game watching experience. I do agree that the umpiring has been horrible, but monitor the umpires & act appropriately & publicly (warning/suspension/firing)
Josh: I agree. Starter ERA is completely unacceptable. 3 entities to blame. Management for putting together a mediocre rotation. We need a bona fide ace. We don't have one. The Media for completely overselling the same rotation. And lastly, Bob McClure. One guy struggling = Anomaly Everyone below their norm = Coaching issue. Can you imagine this rotation with a real ace at the top? A Verlander, or Sabbathia. Then everyone shifts down to their appropriate slot:
2) Lester - Above average but not an ace 3) Beckett - The serviceable veteran on the decline 4) Buchholz - The journeyman 5) Dubront - The Rookie. Put a real ace on top of that rotation & you have something. Unfortunately with all the money we are paying Dice-K, Lackey & others, the chances of getting a genuine ace anytime soon are nil.
I agree that the base coaches have been pretty bad. But you can't blame them for the Sox being last in MLB in stolen bases. Who is going to steal a base? Podsednik is the only really speed guy we have right now and he is a part timer. The reason for the lack of stolen bases is Ells & Crawford being out. Although I am assuming that Crawford would actually be getting on base.
Phil: Agree on Lavarnway. Disagree on Iglesias. As for Lavarnway, nothing happens unless the Sox deal Salty. The Perm is the starter as long as he wears a Sox uniform. Doesn't make sense to bring Lavarnway up to sit on the bench. As for Iglesias, in April I was all for bringing him up. Now, let's wait until September when the rosters expand. Aviles has turned out to be an above average SS. He is serviceable in the field. He won't make any highlight reels, but he makes the plays that he should. Offensively he has been pretty good. Especially compared to other Shortstops. Look at the Stats: Among AL SS Aviles is 5th in Avg, 2nd in HRs, 1st in RBI (Best in MLB & 9 more than any other AL SS) tied 1st in 2Bs and 5th in SBs. Not too bad. I can wait until next year to appoint Iggy the starting SS job. We do need the youth. Middlebrooks should be the starting 3B. Lavarnway should be the stating catcher, Nava is a better 5th OF than McDonald. But unless The Sox can unload Youk, Salty and Crawford, they are all blocked. Even Iglesias. He is the future. Unfortunately, in order to make room for them the Sox would have to pay Youk, Salty & Crawford to play elsewhere. Nobody will pick up their contracts unless the Sox subsidize most of the salary. Ben doesn't have the latitude for that because of the mess Theo left him with the contracts of Lackey, Crawford & Dice-K.
Greg from Henderson: "Of course everyone likes winning but this team is infected with a cancer" A cancer? Really? That's a bit harsh don't you think? It's the energy level that's lacking. Maybe affected with a Malaise, or Mononucleosis or Lyme Disease is more appropriate. Something energy sapping but less dire than Cancer. Maybe Restless Legs Syndrome.
M. V. Fredd: You absolutely nailed it. There is a serious lack of leadership. We have the stoic lead by example guy. (Adrian, Papi) We have the cocky, boisterous & tough guy. (Pedey) But what we need is the Idiot. He jokes, he keeps the atmosphere light, but he's a pro and has the ear of everyone in the room. I've said it a hundred times. We need some idiots. Where are the Millars, the Damons, the Sean Caseys? We need those guys. The Nick Swishers, Eric Byrneses, Torii Hunters, and Orlando Hudsons. Somebody needs to bring these guys together. They are only a team in the literal definition of the word. They are not a team, they are a roster. The Sox desperately need that catalyst.
Look at the Rays. Joe Madden has them doing goofy stuff all the time. Is it silly? Yeah. Is it embarrassing? Sometimes, but they do it all together regardless of whether they think it's silly, or embarrassing. It works. One guy acting like a fool is embarrassing. 25 guys acting like fools may still be embarrassing, but you are not alone. You have 24 brothers being embarrassed right along with you. They are in it together. 25 entities with the same mindset. The Rays almost always overachieve.
And don't give me the "Chemistry is a myth" argument. Don't tell me about the early '70s A's or late '70s Yankee teams that hated each other and say chemistry doesn't matter. Chemistry is what this team needs. That is what this Sox "team" is lacking. While I understand it's hard to create chemistry with guys coming & going all the time, the Sox need to figure out something before the season gets away from them.
Even with the Chemistry issue, the biggest factor for the Sox underachieving is injuries. You can't tell me the Sox are in the cellar if Ells, Bailey, and even Crawford were all healthy. If Youk & Cody Ross didn't miss time. If that were the case, Middlebrooks & Nava never come up. The bullpen is stronger as Aceves is the multifaceted reliever that we need. Without the injuries the Sox are contenders, there is no "Bring up the youth movement" Bobby Valentine is a genius and Ben Cherington is the best GM in baseball etc. In spite of all of mine or anybody else's opinions, it's the injuries that are the base cause of everything. Despite that, we will continue to play games like "What if" and "If I were GM" It's what we do. It's fun, and we're good at it. Besides, what the hell else are we gonna do? Watch Soccer?
One last thing. I think I need a nickname. All the regular contributors to OYM have nicknames: Merrimack Valley Fredd, Phil from Idaho, Mark NYSoxFan, Steve, 15, Billy the Bandit, etc. At the risk of opening myself up for ridicule, I'll ask for suggestions. Let's play "name the long winded guy" BTW, Dorkus Melorkus is taken. That is what my wife calls me.
Bill - Warner NH
Bill - I don't mind a long post once in a while ... I just ask that folks refrain from making it a habit. Believe it or not, it can affect the delivery of the newsletter. In addition, it can lend to everyone making lengthy posts, and that definitely can't happen! :-) Trish
Oh my...I found myself watching the Sox vs. Marlins last night just BEGGING for a win...any win at this point feels like a division clinching one. Well, we got it, Aceves earned a good save (Papel-who?) and yet the Sox are still 2 games below .500. The halfway point of the season is fast approaching, and it's starting to set in like the old (really old) days when there was no hope except for next year. The folks who keep saying, "There's too much talent on this team for them to be this bad" really make me laugh. Is there really? If there were so much talent, they wouldn't be this bad. Maybe at one time these guys had talent - with their former teams or in their younger days - but for most of them it seems to have gotten lost somewhere. I do agree with Phil, et al who say the Sox should bring up some minor leaguers who have a lot to prove and would LOVE a shot at the bigs. At least they'd look a little energized and eager. There is definitely a lethargy on this team and no one but the players know the reason (clubhouse, management, comraderie, etc) but for us, (as well as them, I imagine) it's truly frustrating and sad to watch. But watch, we will. Can't imagine Fenway becoming "Camden Yards North" or members of another nation invading our park. Right? Go Sox
Jeneen * Beverly, MA
Great reading and insight in Wednesdays report and the one common denominator is the need for some hurlers and youngsters. I sense that a lot of my fellow readers are getting frustrated with the game outcomes I go back to what I said about let Crawford, Lackey, and dice K chill in AAA this year.
As for team spirit we all see jubilation on a win or homer, but this clubhouse is NOT a band of brothers, and whatever it was about Titos running it that lost him his job is now costing the Sox. I bet he misses the card game with Pedroia before the game and the brotherhood of the Boston Red Sox. Tito, if you read this thanks for the 2 World Series buddy, and I am headed to Chitown to see the Cubbies play and it will be something for you to be doing the color in the booth for Espn and interviewing Theo. With all the GREAT luck he's had you should tell him that maybe a couple of buckets of KFC and a few beers and some smiles and joking around might help them win some games. And a memo to Ben, Mauro Gomez hit Two Tremendous dingers in Pawtucket last nite, hint hint. Glad they won last nite and hope they do tonite, but I really hope that after some great baked pancakes at Clarks in Chicago I can see them sweep the Cubbies,and I like the Cubs and being a fair man it would hurt me for them to win a world series, after all we waited all our lifetimes for one. Have a great day Members of the Nation and be kind to someone today, just not an ump. Lol
Dave from RI
Been reading the posts the last few days. Seems we're all just about fed up with the lack of enthusiasm with this team. I think its time the pitching and batting coaches start taking some lumps. We have several batters that are in dire need of help or extra work with their offense. What is Magadan doing besides sitting on the bench counting his money? Also, pitching coach doesn't seem to be doing what needs to be done with the pitchers. Most of them are just a few tweeks away from being right where they should be. Maybe they all need to meet with Tewks to get into the right mindset. Either way there are well paid personnel who aren't doing their jobs to help this team be the best they can be.
We are in the bottom of the eight inning and the score is 10-2 Boston. Call me psychic or psychotic but I predict a win. Well played game guys. Whatever you are changing stick with it. Last night's fielding and tonight's game overall show what you can do as a team. Keep it going and GO SOX!
Chuck Lewis * Warwick, RI