Lackluster is the only word to describe Sunday’s effort at Fenway! A good word for a vapid performance. In all fairness, there was a flash of vitality; that coming in the third inning following the Yankees taking a 2-0 lead in the second. Oh there were those two runs in the ninth but they were induced by Yankee miscues.
The reality of the 2015 edition of the Old Towne Team came into clear focus this weekend. And the reality is simply this; the only reason they are really in it at all is because the AL East is simply that bad!
Problems abound; in no particular order:
1. Napoli appears at the end of the line.
2. Ramirez is a prototypical DH. (They have one)
3. Panda seems like an OK guy, pretty good player, great history in the post season (won’t matter this year) but uninspiring.
4. There is a vacuum of veteran leadership which will hopefully be filled when Pedroia returns.
5. They have too many egos for too few spots. (Have fun Farrell)
6. And then there is the PITCHING, or lack thereof! Right now it’s Rodriquez, Koji and a crap shoot. It will be fun to watch Johnson take his shot!
The bookends on the weekend performance were:
Buchholz leaving with an elbow strain on Friday…..
David Ortiz sent home sick! Really? On Sunday! The doctor sent him home with an “upper respiratory infection.”
Now I hate to say this but…..Ain’t that what they used to call…..A cold?
Now I don’t want to be hyper critical but…..I remember having colds. A lot of em. Not once did I “receive fluids.”
At the game on Sunday, I was unaware that the big fella went home. So I was surprised when Ryan Hanigan came up in the eighth with a man on, two outs, a righty on the mound and the Sox down two.
Twas then that I learned that Papi was sick. If you read this blog you are probably aware of my involvement with high school baseball in Venice Florida. That said, I must tell you the rules about being sick. They go like this; if you are not in school, you cannot play in a game that night. The point to this is…..I have seen many a HIGH SCHOOL KID battle through a cough due to cold, stomach flu and more because there was simply NO WAY THEY WERE NOT PLAYING!
So I’m a wondering here, why on what was clearly the biggest game of the year for the Sox, why Sir Papi would go home with a cold. Am I off base here? My brother says I’m turning into a grumpy old curmudgeon so I need another barometer.
Coming off of his “I don’t want to play first base” act last week I have to say I’m disappointed.
I wish to offer this caveat. I love David Ortiz and what he has meant to this franchise. I marvel at his accomplishments with a bat in his hands and he will forevermore hold a warm place in my heart for his efforts which brought all of us the joys of 2004, 07 and 13.
But David, David, David. If I might offer a suggestion…..How about this if that question of first base comes up again.
“You know I’m an old dude and my pins (legs) are not what they once were……But, you know, I’m gonna do whatever I can to help this team and if John (Farrell the manager) thinks we have the best shot with me at first, I’ll do whatever it takes.” Now if you want to close John’s (Farrell the manger) door and say… “Hey buddy Are you bleeping kidding me, you’re gonna kill me out there.” I’m fine with that, work it out. But I must tell you that, for the most part, the “Nation” thinks it’s no big deal for you to grab the leather a couple of times a week
I’m just sayin, is all.
As for the team and where it sits at the all star break, I think pretty close to where they will sit at the October break. They’re just not that good. Don’t get me wrong, there are young kids that I love on this team…..
Xander Bogaerts appears destined for the stardom which was predicted.
Mookie can flat out play.
And how do you not love Brock Holt?
Now I must confess it bugs the bejesus out of me that he wears Wade Boggs number but that’s a story for another day.
And how about this kid?
Eduardo Rodriquez went from #79 in spring training to # 1 in the rotation at the all star break!
Soooo, here’s what I’d like to see, not that anybody asked.
1. Move Victorino and/or Napoli.
2. They seem to have given up on Jackie Bradley Jr. I have not. I would like to see him penciled in, for the bulk of what remains of the season and then decide once and for all what to do with him.
3. Show me some hungry kids……
Oh and in the sentimentality of my age…..More of this please.
Lovely little 10 year old girl from Connecticut who rocked God Bless America Sunday at Fenway!
Bring on the second half……Such as it is!
And so it is at this time in Fenway history, All Star break, 2015.
Sigh. What more is there to say. Sigh. Not going to be a shining star season. The sooner forgotten, the better.
Ray, you’ve said it all. I’m taking a mental all-star game break time out from baseball. The weekend Yankees series was a party pooper even though we have 70 odd games to go. I agree we should bring more kids up rather than trade for over the hill vets. Oddly, that’s what our “hated” rival Yankees are doing with fair success. I can never really root for the Yankees but this year I may have to say I won’t root against them if they make the playoffs. They’re winning with marginal players, aging vets, kids, a patched up starting rotation and two terrific relievers. Girardi out managed Farrell on Sunday. It was the game when your starter should have been on a very short leash with everyone else ready to come in because of the all star break.
As for Papi. I think it’s much ado about nothing. I know he complains a lot. But I cannot believed he faked the illness.
This is a good week to catch up on other stuff. Might even watch “Field of Dreams”, “The Natural”, “Major League” and “Bull Durham” again. Throw in a couple of good westerns and I just might get my mind right again.
Remember, there’s no cryin’ in baseball.