Welcome to our second edition of the Cooler, this week we are putting it on wheels as Cousin Jason will be making the pilgrammage to Fenway on Tuesday night. So let's open it up and ice down this weeks thoughts:
-I said last week that Twitter was excellent for following all of the trade deadline action but as a sports fan it is phenomenal in general. Unless of course you are hoping to watch Olympic coverage on NBC via tape delay. Also for some reason in the 10th inning last night Twitter was actually faster than ESPN. However, I am loving me some Twitter these days. Good thing I don't have an iPhone or I really would be in trouble.
-Little Cousin Jason aka my oldest son Cole will be making his first trip to Fenway Tuesday night. Looking forward to it although being 6 I'm sure he'll be ready to leave in the top of the 3rd.
-No love for our friends Downeast from Dave O'Brien on the radio tonight as he referred to the Blueberry Festival in Machias twice and both times got the pronunciation wrong, although Ma-chee-as was closer than his first attempt of Ma-chee-sca.
1. Really nice to see Clay Buchholz turn his season around. Remember back in late April when Red Sox Nation was ready to run Buch out of town because he was so awful? Me neither, Buch has been fantastic since his bout with esophagitis and appears to be the pitcher he was in 2010. Which is a damn good thing since our supposed pair of aces are looking more like a pair of deuces. Let's send Lester and Beckett to the hospital and then to a charity event at a casino and see if that gets them going as well. I think it is interesting to note that Buchholz pitching style seems to be more conducive to success than Lester. Buch pitches to contact whereas Lester is a nibbler. Now if we can get Lester and Beckett going along with Buch and Doubie maybe a deep run is in the cards for the 2012 Sox.
2+3. Tomorrow at 4pm is the MLB Trade Deadline. Some thoughts on this, first I have been singing Twitter's praises in regards to keeping up on deals and of course the day it will all go down I will be traveling and in Boston away from the Internet and my trade updates. Secondly, as we mentioned in our Sunday night live chat we at RSM long for the the days of our youth (and the Deacon's 30s) when the trade deadline was at midnight, watching Baseball Tonight right up to the deadline to see what would happen with the Sox and since it was the 1990's probably more so our fantasy lineups. Lastly, after 3 straight wins to get the Sox back over .500 what will Ben Cherington and the rest of the front office do? It is my belief that there will be minimal change for this organization at this time. I think the thought process is that when healthy we have the lineup necessary to win, and cross your fingers it appears that lineup might take the field this coming weekend against the Twins. I could see the Sox moving Shoppach, whom the Rangers are somewhat interested in, Sweeney or Nava because of the glut of OFers, although given Crawford and Ellsbury's 2012 I might hang on to those guys, and also a bullpen arm or two (Albers, Miller, Padilla). As the Deacon pointed out in our chat on Sunday night (good stuff in those things, check one out!) the Sox could replace those parts from within the organization and not miss much with guys like Lavarnway, Bard, and even Mark Prior. Those of you wanting to see this whole thing blown up may have to wait until the offseason. If only the trade deadline was in the middle of August which I have seen mentioned as a better time given the new Wildcard scenario. Either way it should be interesting to be at Fenway tomorrow night.
4. Anyone else got Pedro Ciriaco fever? Apparently not Stuart Scott as he referred to him as Pedro Ciriano on SportsCenter Sunday night. I am loving what this kid is bringing to the table. He is a Yankees killer, he makes things happen with his bat, glove and legs. What a grat play at SS last night in these hole to get the Sox out of an inning. Could this open the door to trade Mike Aviles? Doubtful but I hope the "new" Pedro is not shipped out when Ortiz returns from the DL. At the very least he could take Nick Punto's roster spot couldn't he? Wonder what we could get for Punto?
5. Does anyone know for sure if Carl Crawford needs surgery on his throwing elbow? Apparently not the Sox medical staff or at the very least the manager. According to reports Bobby V stated that he has not been told Crawford needs surgery. How hard is it for the Sox to get competent medical people? This appears to be an ongoing, for a few years, issue. Granted I am not a doctor, however I will stay at a Holiday Inn Express tomorrow night so I might be on Wednesday and I am married to a nurse, but it sure looks like Crawford's elbow hurts badly.
6. How about the mini-firestorm set off in the Boston media over Terry Francona's visit to the Sox clubhouse on Saturday? So what the former manager and current analyst for the next night's broadcast spent sometime catching up with former players and staff? I got to say whatever Tito did it apparently worked as the Sox have run off 3 straight. It's not like the chemistry is great for the Sox, especially amongst the coaching staff. Pete Abe wrote that Tito and Gary Tuck talked for 30 minutes in the runway, which is about 30 minutes more than Tuck and Bobby V have talked all season. Also Bob McClure made his presence felt Sunday night with couple of mound visits, including the comical visit with Aceves in the 10th where Fettucine basically told him to sit his ass back down. Even our coaching staff is dysfunctional, how the hell are we still in the wild card race?
- Since I am going to Fenway during our Sunday chat I dug out all of my old Sox ticket stubs. Barry though this might be a great new addition to the cooler, so for our chaser I am going to reminisce about one of my excursions to America's Most Beloved Ballpark.
Before Tuesday night my last trip to Fenway occurred July 1, 2007. My lovely wife and I went to Boston for our 2nd anniversary. The Sox took on the Texas Rangers, seeing as this was my wife's first trip to Fenway we went early for the Sunday day game and took in a tour of the park. After picking up some warmer garb on Yawkey Way, as it was particularly breezy that day, we Tom our seats in the RF Roof Box near the Budweiser Pavilion. Not only did we have a good view of the game but also a good view of NESN taping an episode of "Sox Appeal." The days pitching matchup say Julian Tavarez take the mound for the Sox against Kaneron Loe for the Rangers, I was fully expecting a Sox rout. Instead we got a pitchers duel with the Rangers pulling out the 2-1 win scoring on a JD Drew error and a Brad Wilkerson double, Youk drove in the lone Sox run. The most memorable part of the game was that then Rangers closer Eric Gagne would enter with 2 outs in the 8th after Akinori Osuka got hurt. The memorable part was that Gagne threw in the pen for several minutes after being summonsed. The Fenway Faithful rained down jeers on Gagne and the 2nd base umpire had to go out to mid RF to emphatically wave Gagne in. Little did we know that a month later Gagne would become a Sox and get even louder jeers for his shitty pitching. Of course in spite of Gagne the Sox would go on to win the World Series.
Hope you enjoy this weeks cooler, bottoms up!