Tuesday, August 12, 2008

And That Happened

Pirates 7, Mets 5: Wow. There's not a guy Mets fans can trust in that pen, is there?

Blue Jays 7, Tigers 2: The Justin Verlander parade of arson continues, as he has now given up 24 earned runs in his last four starts. On the bright side, Gary Sheffield's annual proclamation of no respect was followed with boos and an 0-3.

Brewers 7, Nats 1: By the time this month is over, the Nats will have played series against the Brewers, Mets, Phillies, Cubs, and Dodgers. As a result, they may have more to say about the NL races than anyone. Of course that conversation will be couched in terms of "which team beat the hell out of the Nats more than any others?" but the point is, they're still in the conversation.

Cardinals 4, Marlins 2: I realize RBI is not the most useful stat on the planet, but how many of them has Hanley Ramirez been robbed of this season by being forced to hit leadoff? His old-school batting line is .295 - 25 - 51, which in some circles will get a guy accused of not knowing how to drive in runs. He and Grady Sizemore should form a support group or something.

Twins 4, Yankees 0: Yesterday morning I read a story in one of the New York tabloids -- not unlike stories I've read in the New York tabloids for the past, oh, six or seven years -- in which some putatively ballsy New York writer tells Yankees fans how it really is: the Bombers are no longer the class of the league. The party is over. Get used to looking up at Tampa or Boston or Anaheim or Chicago or whoever. It's always styled as hard truths and tough love, and it's always ridiculous. It's especially ridiculous this year, in that Yankees fans -- who are rightly, I think, reputed to be among the most knowledgeable in baseball -- are well aware that any team trotting out a squad consisting of Justin Christian, Xavier Nady, Richie Sexon, and Sidney Ponson in mid August is not a contender, let alone the class of the league. They don't need a writer to tell them this. Instead, maybe they need some writers who can help them analyze this new reality as opposed to dwell on the end of a party everyone left hours and hours ago.

Astros 3, Giants 1: There's been loose talk about Barry Bonds coming to Houston. It's pretty clear that that's not happening, but that has less to do with all of the Home Run King's baggage than it does with the fact that Ty Wigginton (2-3, HR, 3 RBI) is all the offense the Astros need.

Indians 13, Orioles 8: Sloppy, listless, and giving up 28 runs in your last two games is no way to go through life, Baltimore.

Red Sox 5, White Sox 1: John Danks goes from no-hitting the Sox into the seventh inning to giving up the go-ahead runs in that same inning and getting hung with the loss. A loss, by the way, which see-saws the Twins back into first place. I love half-game margins like this. I hope they go back and forth for two weeks.

Dodgers 8, Phillies 6: Manny was late to take his position in left in the ninth because he thought Torre had taken him out of the game. He had gone to the bathroom and had untucked his shirt and everything. Red Sox fans used to be able to tell you how cute this sort of thing is but I can't find one who thinks it's funny anymore.


William said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
William said...

As a red sox fan still heartbroken by the Manny trade, I decided to stay up late and watch the Dodgers play on ESPN2 last night. That incident in the 9th was priceless. I was on the floor laughing when he just didn't come out of the clubhouse. And then when he came chugging out, uniform untucked and with someone else's glove... I got a little sad. That used to be our Manny. The guy who would go 2 for 3 with 2 RBI and 2 walks, then do something silly like run to left field with a water bottle in his pocket. The guy who could carry the teams offense for weeks at a time, and then take a cell phone break in the Monster between innings. The worst part about it is, looking at last night's incident you realize that 99% of the guys missteps really are just silly foibles that ultimately don't affect the outcome of the game. Sure, fans and management may get frustrated with them sometimes, but at the end of the day, the guy still does WAY more to help your team win than he does to hurt it.

His single in the 8th is the perfect example of why this guy was untradeable in my view. He was COMPLETELY fooled on a hard slider low and away. Swung sort of awkwardly off his back foot and yet, put enough on the ball to hit a single into the gap. That single reminded me of when he first came to the Red Sox, and wouldn't come unless the Sox also signed the clubhouse guy who set the pitching machine for his BP. The guy had a way of setting the machine to sliders low and away, and thats what Manny liked to practice with. He figured if he could hit those, he could hit anything.

So, Craig, here's one Sox fan who still finds Manny's escapades cute and funny. Who prefers to remember the hard work, hall of fame numbers, 2 World Series and genuine fun the guy clearly had playing baseball. Would it lead to these silly moments from time to time? Sure. Would I rather have anyone else on my team? No way.

Levi Stahl said...

Alfonso Soriano, with his 56 RBI, could also join the Sizemore/Hanley Ramirez support group--except that I guess it's Soriano's own damned fault that he's hitting leadoff, isn't it?

tadthebad said...

Manny nostalgia? It's easy to remember the good stuff. William, you are on an island.

Ernesto said...

I'm on the island with William, as are a number of Sox fans. And while I miss Manny and will always remember him fondly, I'm not upset about the trade. Bay is a damn good ballplayer who comes cheap this year and next, when the Sox would have needed to find someone other than Manny to play LF.

Jason said...

I'm also on that island. Manny was more fun to watch than any other player, and as much as I'm enjoying things with Bay, I miss the goofy guy.

Rob said...

Count me on the island as well. I'm not upset about the trade (or Manny's resurgence since) but that it ever came to that point to start with. In April, I was hoping he'd have a great year and that the Sox would pick up the option. By June, it was clear that the great season-to-be wouldn't and it was a just matter of time and acrimony.

tadthebad said...

Looks like the island is a burgeoning continent. I loved watching Manny hit, especially when he was "on." I also enjoyed his carefree moments when they didn't seem to be so vengeful or malicious. But based on the accounts of the 2008 season, those carefree, fun Manny moments just seem like so damn long ago. I was upset about his departure for twenty minutes, but in the end I cheer for laundry.