Archive for the ‘World Series’ Category

Houston Asterisks

Hey gang, Dan here, and I’m irritated.

I’m irritated because we have a new season approaching, and it should be a time of joy.

I’m irritated because we should be debating on who the strongest teams in each division are. We should be debating what we wanna do with our first round draft pick. We should be making plans to go to spring training games, and counting down the minutes until Opening day.

But alas, we’re not. All we are doing is talking about the trash (can banging) Houston Astros and their scandal that is destroying baseball.

We can’t go more than five minutes without some new beat reporter publishing new facts that make this story worse. Every day, more and more players speak out, and more and more videos and memes are posted on Facebook and Twitter about how fun it’s going to be to drill Astros players this year. Baseball is under siege right now.

Make no mistake, I’m just as angry as everyone else. I am firmly in the camp of trying to do my best Emperor Palpatine impression when it comes to these cheaters. “Wipe them out. All of them”.

But while anger at the Astros themselves is understandable and justified, they should not be the main target of our wrath. The person you should be mad at is MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred.

Rob Manfred has failed his sport, and failed the fans. The slaps on the wrist of the Houston Astros are ineffectual and weak, at best.

The biggest problem that people have is the immunity granting for the players involved. Basically, if they told MLB investigators the truth, they would be let off without any punishment for their involvement. That, is insane.

There’s plenty of former Astros who have left that team that would’ve been more than happy to roll over on them. Talk to Mike Fiers, talk to Gerrit Cole, talk to Charlie Morton. Countless others. Granting these players a free pass for their cooperation was a HUGE misstep in judgement. I wish the police treated us that way when we committed a crime. “Tell us what happened, and you’re free to go”.

The issue is you have this raw anger from those who were cheated, that can never be squashed. The Dodgers, Yankees, Athletics, Rays, Red Sox, countless others were beaten by the Astros in games they cheated. Taking away chances at World Series championships, MVP Awards, CY Youngs, Silver Sluggers, the list goes on and on. You’re taking money, and fame, and pieces of these players legacy away from them. Rob Manfred FAILED all of us.

Just for fun, I came up with the list of punishments that I would’ve given the Astros, had I been the Commissioner at the time.

-$100 million dollar fine for the organization.

-Automatic forfeiture of the 2017 World Series Championship and the 2017 AL West Championship. This includes trophies, rings, any gear or memorabilia and any mention of them winning, all gone. I would NOT award the World Series to the Dodgers. That just gets messsy.

-162 game suspensions for any player found to benefit from the cheating system. The Astros wouldn’t be able to field a full team, but hey we’re always complaining the Minor Leaguers don’t get a shot as much as they should, right? The Astros AAA players would get free tickets to the majors. See, I’m helping.

-Automatic forfeiture of any personal awards won during that time. This includes Altuve’s 2017 MVP.

– A postseason ban for three years.

– A ban from television in the Houston market, and the Houston market’s surrounding territories for one year. No games on TV whatsoever. The Astros organization would compensate the TV providers on their lost revenue.

-And the big one, automatic bans on Hall of Fame eligibility for anyone involved.

Is it harsh? Absoultely. But strong misbehavior requires a strong response. The message needed to be sent that this would NEVER be tolerated again. Baseball failed miserably in sending that message. And we’re all suffering for it.

This is going to be the last time I speak on this. I want to move forward with preparing for what should be an exciting Rays season, and hopefully we can all start to put this scandal behind us. But I felt really strongly about this, and felt like I needed to dust off thefoulline.com’s keyboard and get my thoughts out there with the first post of the new decade.

Let’s finally start to focus on real baseball again. Not Asterisks.

Talk Shows on Mute

Thefoulline.com would like to congratulate the Tampa Bay Rays on winning the 2008 World Series. Tampa has shown that with hard work and determination, anything is possible. Kudos to the Rays and their fan.

What’s that, there are still 80 games left to be played?? Are you sure? I was listening to Sports Radio 620 WDAE this morning and according to them, this season is over.

On Tampa’s Ron and Ian show this morning these guys could not say enough about how the Rays are going to kill the Sox this week, and how Boston is a bunch of chumps. These are the same guys that predicted during the pre-season that the Rays would finish below .500. What I don’t understand is how the Rays will win the World Series and still finish with a losing record.

Could this be yet another Florida newspaper/talk show/news reporter jumping on the Rays bandwagon? This is nothing new for this area. After all, the same thing already happened when the Bucs and Lightning were suddenly contenders, so why not jump on the Rays’ wagon? What I find really funny is last year the Tampa Tribune and St. Pete Times had absolutely zero Rays coverage. It was difficult to even find the box score. Now these sports sections are all Rays, all the time.

I wonder what they are going to replace this section with when September rolls around. Oh, I know, the Buccaneers will be getting ready to start their season. Crisis averted.

Everyone loves a winner. This is evident by every Tom, Dick and Harry that is suddenly a “lifelong” Rays fan. Some of these fans can even tell you the names of a a few of the Devil Rays that were on the team last year.

But a true fan follows their team and voices their support regardless of their record.

I look forward to seeing and hearing how this all plays out in the Tampa media when Thursday rolls around, and once again the Rays are looking up at the Red Sox.

Dylan’s letter to Red Sox Nation

Another inspiring post from Dylan “And you may ask yourself, how can I serve Red Sox Nation bigger and better this offseason?” Hamilton.

Dear Red Sox Nation,

I know, I know, this has been a crazy week. I mean, wow, World Series champs……..again. I hope you all have had a great work week, wearing some form of Sox gear almost everyday and simply basking in the victory. I also hope everyone had a chance to be at, or at least watch the parade on the duck boats. Papelbon truly earned the right to be called the craziest man in baseball with his performance this year in the parade. So, I hope this letter truly finds everyone well.

I’m listening to the Talking Heads song “Once In a Lifetime” right now. You know the one, it has the chorus, “and you may find yourself, in another part of the world, and you may find yourself, in a beautiful house…” Well, and you may find yourself, as World Series champs, and you ask yourself, “well, how did I get here?” It’s a good song. Anyways, the purpose of this letter is that I know some of you are feeling a little out of place after winning this World Series. I talked about it a few days ago in my last post on here, how this title feels different. Well, I’m sending you all this letter to outline what we need to do this offseason, not as trades or signings, I’m not talking about the team here. This letter is from me to you, from Dylan to the entire Red Sox Nation.

First of all, winning the World Series on Sunday night is perfect for the Mon-Fri 9-5’ers. Come in to work Monday a little rough looking from Sunday, with a big grin on your face, looking for the closest Yankee fan. It’s awesome. Well, the week is now over, and any other sports fan would let this die down, it has been a week, and start thinking about next season, maybe football, who knows? Well, Red Sox Nation, we need not do that. This offseason, let’s ride this title out. Let’s spend the entire offseason bashing the Yankees, and really, the entire American League. After 86 years of struggle and ridicule as being 2nd best, let’s just get flat out cocky about this. I’m not saying get rid of the lovable-losers attitude, but we’re all Mass-holes in one way, shape, or form, so let’s show it. For the rest of the offseason, go ahead Red Sox Nation, and brag, brag, brag. We’re the best, let people know it. Let’s be as loud and obnoxious as we all so very well can, and let everyone know that we are all very happy about this title.

Secondly, follow the Yankees matters very closely. All this winning in the Red Sox Nation does not sit pretty in the Rotten Apple, and the few Yankee fans that are left are going to desire to break out any sort of 26 rings comment to take us off of our pedestal. Well, we can’t let this happen. Their team is in complete shambles, and odds are most Yankee fans don’t follow the team with as much devotion as we follow baseball. So, get read up on all the Yankees facts, rumors, trades, etc., and when you come in with your head held high and they come back with some “Your mom wears 26 rings” comment, back it up with “All your All-Stars are going to leave town” comments. I can’t wait for that. We always gave a huge fight to New York, but they always had us in a corner. Now we’re out, and we gotta start swinging.

Lastly Red Sox Nation, don’t forget where you came from. We are the only city, only region in America where baseball is the biggest sport around. We have the greatest football team possibly ever put together this season, but we’re a baseball town. The Sox will always be more important. It’s religion. We’ve come a long way to get here as two-time champs in less than five years. We’ve sat through a lot of struggle, and we can’t forget it. During this offseason, watch old Red Sox DVDs, read some old articles about the Curse, even try not closing your eyes when Buckner comes up on TV. We have the richest tradition in sports as Red Sox Nation, and for once, it’s time to be proud.

So, Red Sox Nation, as the buzz of this championship simmers down, I hope we all can embrace this great change that comes from winning. I hope you all have a great offseason. There’s much to discuss this winter, so stay tuned to the thefoulline.com, and don’t forget: the best way to get a Yankee fan off your front porch is to just pay for the pizza.

See you all in Fort Myers in a few months.

Sincerely,

Dylan “I’m putting all my trust in Theo about trades and free agents” Hamilton

Fair or Foul results are in!!

What started out as a close competition on who was the team MVP has turned into a commanding defeat by Mike Lowell. First a career year, then a World Series MVP award, and now most importantly Mike Lowell has won the Fair or Foul question of the week as voted on by thefoulline.com readers.

This was a really tough decision, as both players played great this season and were the backbone to the team’s success. But like he has done all year, Lowell came through in the clutch to win this prestigious award.

All year long, Mike Lowell has been a great clubhouse guy and a team leader. He is universally respected by the Red Sox players and management, which was reinforced during the World Series parade when several Sox players held up signs to Re-Sign Lowell!! Lowell is also active in the community and has proved to be a great influence on the younger Red Sox players. Mike Lowell is a great player, but I’m starting to think that M.V.P. might stand for Most Valuable Person.

Fair or Foul results are in!

What started out as a close competition on who was the team MVP has turned into a commanding defeat by Mike Lowell. First a career year, then a World Series MVP award, and now most importantly Mike Lowell has won the Fair or Foul question of the week as voted on by thefoulline.com readers.

This was a really tough decision, as both players played great this season and were the backbone to the team’s success. But like he has done all year, Lowell came through in the clutch to win this prestigious award.

All year long, Mike Lowell has been a great clubhouse guy and a team leader. He is universally respected by the Red Sox players and management, which was reinforced during the World Series parade when several Sox players held up signs to Re-Sign Lowell!! Lowell is also active in the community and has proved to be a great influence on the younger Red Sox players. Mike Lowell is a great player, but I’m starting to think that M.V.P. might stand for Most Valuable Person.

My top 5 favorite games of the 2007 season.

Here are my five favorite games from the Red Sox 2007 season.

  1. The Mother’s Day miracle: Boston rallied from a five-run deficit in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat the Baltimore Orioles 6-5. What I remember about this game was Josh Beckett left the game early with a “finger” problem, and suddenly everyone’s thoughts turned to the blister problems that have plagued Beckett his entire career. Also, Jeremy Guthrie of the Orioles was shutting the Boston bats down all game, allowing 0 runs on three hits. Being that it was Mother’s Day, I turned the game off in the top of the ninth inning to take my wife out to dinner. I was shocked when I came home and saw that the Sox won.
  2. Schilling throws a one-hitter: 4o-year-old Schilling was one out away from throwing the first no-hitter of his Major League career against the Oakland A’s. After the game, Schilling admitted that he shook off Jason Varitek’s sign on the Shannon Stewart single. I may have jinxed this one. With two outs in the ninth and the no-hitter still intact, I phoned my buddy Dylan to make sure he was watching. Before he could even pick up the phone, Stewart singled. End of the no hitter. Sorry about that, Curt.
  3. Clay Buchholz throws a no-hitter: In only his second Major League start, Buchholz dazzles the Baltimore Orioles and gives Red Sox fans a glimpse into the future. I was working at the fire station during this game. It seemed like every time I tried to sit and watch the game, I would get dispatched for a call. In between taking patients to the hospital I would check the box score. I finally made it back to the station and watched from the seventh inning on. I found myself wishing for two things: not to get another alarm and for this kid to make history. Both wishes came true.
  4. Game 5, ALCS: Josh Beckett keeps the Red Sox season alive with another dominating post-season performance. This was the game that solidified Beckett as one of the greatest postseason pitchers of all time. The Red Sox were able to put a stop to Cleveland’s three-game winning streak and seize the momentum heading back to Fenway.
  5. Game 4, World Series: Jon Lester starts game four after beating cancer, allowing 0 earned runs in 5 1/3 innings. A gutsy performance from the 23-year-old. Bobby Kielty homers on the first pitch that he’s seen during the entire World Series. Mike Lowell further endears himself to Red Sox fans with a double and a home run, leading to his World Series MVP award. And Papelbon closes the door with five outs to help capture the second Red Sox World Series in four years.

These were my favorite games. Please post your comments and tell me which games were memorable for you.

2007 Red Sox year in review

Coming into spring training in 2007 the Boston Red Sox were a very different team than the one that finished in third place in the AL East. After a very disappointing 2006 season, the Sox made a huge splash in the free agency market, landing notable players Julio Lugo, J.D. Drew, and the biggest prize, Dice K Matsuzaka. Boston had set a few goals in the offseason to improve team speed and starting pitching and bolster an inconsistent bullpen.

With a bunch of new players added to the roster, there were a lot of questions concerning the 2007 Red Sox in spring training. With Jonathan Papelbon set to join the starting rotation, the Red Sox had open tryouts for the closer position. Guys like Joel Piniero, J.C. Romero, and Mike Timlin all took their turns trying to close, all with out success. Curt Schilling came in to camp looking heavy and out of shape after an offseason of promoting his video game company. Josh Beckett was a question mark after his disappointing first season in the American League. Boston gave the starting second base job to an untested rookie in Dustin Pedroia, even after he failed miserably during his 2006 September call-up. Of course Manny was being Manny, going back and forth on wanting to play for the Red Sox. And it seemed like David Ortiz had something hurting from day one. It was hard to predict how this team would do. This was a team that had the potential the play in the World Series or suffer the same fate as the 2006 team.

We all know what happened next. The Red Sox jumped out to huge lead in the AL East behind some great early season pitching by their starters, and Jonathan Papelbon jumped back into his closer role. Even though new starters Lugo, Pedroia and Drew were struggling miserably the first months of the season, Terry Francona kept running these guys out there, giving them every chance to turn things around. Despite the poor performances by these players, the Sox kept winning, eventually increasing their lead in the AL East to a whopping 14 1/2 games over the New York Yankees.

There were times during this season that I really thought I was in Bizzaro World. Big Papi went from a home-run crushing powerhouse to an on-base percentage machine. Manny Ramirez stopped hitting home runs and seemed to ground into a thousand double plays. Mike Lowell went from a career .280 hitter to the Red Sox MVP and team leader in clutch hits and RBIs. Kevin Youkilis turned into the best defensive first baseman in the American League, committing zero errors at the position all year. And Japanese import Hideki Okajima went from Dice K’s security blanket to an All-Star set-up man.

Going into the All-Star break, the Sox had finally started to get some production from Pedroia and Lugo. Beckett was pitching the best baseball of his career and Boston was holding the best record in the major leagues. Then things began to change for the worse. Schilling’s lack of offseason conditioning finally caught up to him, landing him on the disabled list for six weeks. Manny strained his oblique muscle and began the longest oblique-muscle rehab in the history of baseball. The New York Yankees started playing great baseball, eventually cutting the Red Sox lead to 1 1/2 games.

All these things turned into a blessing in disguise. Without the injuries to Schilling and Ramirez, we may have had to wait another year before seeing rookies Clay Buchholz and Jacoby Ellsbury take the league by storm. If the Sox didn’t get beat up by the Yankees at the end of the season, they may not have learned the resilience to never give up when the playoffs rolled around. With this team, it seemed like they seized every opportunity and dictated their own fate.

The Sox eventually won the AL East and with a healthy roster and the playoffs starting, the Red Sox looked to be a team of destiny. They buzzed through the L.A. Angels of Anaheim, sweeping them in three games behind the pitching of Beckett and the offensive rebirth of Big Papi and Man-Ram. In the ALCS against the Cleveland Indians, it was time to jump on Beckett’s back again. It was also time to put our faith in the future as Pedroia, Ellsbury, and Youkilis carried the offense, helping Boston to rally from a 3-games-to-1 deficit and advance to the World Series.

In the World Series against the Colorado Rockies, it was men against boys. Boston got solid contributions from every player in the lineup. Every game someone new stepped up to be the hero for the Red Sox, eventually leading to a four-game sweep and the second World Series title in four years.

The Boston Red Sox came into the 2007 season full of question marks. Would Manny be back? Who would be the closer? Will Dice K live up to expectations? Could Boston finally dethrone the Yankees? As these questions were eventually answered, a new one popped up.

How many World Series can the Red Sox win in a row?

The birth of a dynasty

The Boston Red Sox are World Champions. It’s nice to see that they were finally able to break the three-year curse that has plagued them since 2004. Even though this was a four-game sweep, there was some great baseball being played. Colorado proved to be a dangerous team that never quit, even up to the last pitch thrown.

I can’t say enough about this team. From the manager all the way down to the role players, everyone contributed. It seemed like someone different would come through each game. One night it was Beckett, then Ellsbury, Pedroia, Lester, Lowell, Timlin, Kielty, Okajima, Papelbon. Someone always rose to the occasion. This is truly a team for the ages.

Let’s start with Terry Francona. Everything this guy touched turned to gold during the playoffs. Start Papi at first base? Put a rookie in to centerfield? Start Jon Lester in game four? Pinch hit Kielty? All of these moves were money. Francona showed that he knows his players, and in turn they want to perform well for him. I also like that Francona was playing for the win last night. He threw most of the bullpen at the Rockies last night. These guys were running on fumes and still got the call. If the Rockies had rallied back and won, Boston would have been in trouble. Oh well, we know how that ended up.

I think it’s time for the Sox to make Mike Lowell an offer he can’t refuse and lock him up for three more years. This guy has solidified the third base position for Boston and should be rewarded. As for A-Rod, who cares. I don’t care where he ends up, as long as it’s not with the Yankees.

The Red Sox are loaded with young players that can flat out play. Lester, Pedroia, Ellsbury, Youk, Papelbon, Buchholz, Delcarmen, Dice K are all under 30 years of age. This is a franchise whose brightest days are still ahead of them.

Check back tomorrow for the Red Sox Year in Review.

THE BOSTON RED SOX ARE WORLD CHAMPIONS!!!!!!

That is all.

And then there was one…

Am I the only one that was getting a little nervous when Colorado scored five runs in the seventh inning? Was anyone else having flashbacks of Bucky Dent, Bill Buckner and Aaron Boone? What the hell is wrong with us?

This is a different Red Sox team. This team is made up of guys that never quit. After seeing their lead cut to one run they could have panicked. Instead, they got back to basics and put four more runs on the scoreboard. I got the feeling during the eighth inning, when Boston responded to the Rockies rally with three runs, that the Colorado players were finally beginning to realize that they were over matched. This was a punch to the gut not only for the Rockie players but also for their fans.

While I am on the subject of the Rockies fans, am I the only one that was a little disappointed in their performance last night? I kept hearing all week that once the series went to Colorado it was going to be totally different ballgame. That the fans were crazy and acted like the 10th player on the field for the Rockies. Instead I saw a stadium of people sitting on their hand the whole game. They didn’t make a peep until the seventh inning when the Rockies finally scored. And when they did they responded with the lamest chant in sports history. “Rockies………………. GO!” They need to (a) change their chant, (b) change their batteries, or (c) buy a metronome. Not to mention the towel waving was pathetic. These fans really need to watch the Cleveland Indian fans from games 3 and 4 in the ALCS for a Towel Waving for Dummies demonstration. Colorado had the tamest 50,000 fans I’ve ever seen.



“Crazy” Rockies fans in action

I thought Dice K looked great last night for the first four innings. He didn’t try to get cute with his pitches and, with the exception of Todd “Chin Beaver” Helton, didn’t get into any really long battles with the Rockies players. These long at-bats have been what’s plagued Matsuzaka this year, driving up his pitch count and tiring him out. When Dice K started to wear down in the sixth inning and walked two batters, Terry Francona did the right thing and pulled him. It was a solid performance from the rookie pitcher that I am sure he will build on for future post seasons.Speaking of rookies, Jacoby “Wonderboy” Ellsbury and Dustin “The Little Engine That Could” Pedroia were awesome. Did these guys not get the memo that they are rookies? Instead of going a combined 7 for 10 with four RBIs, they were supposed to be sucking their thumbs in the corner. But these two are wired differently then most. They have ice water in their veins and play better on the bigger stage. They make something happen in every game they play in. I really look forward to watching these guys play in Red Sox uniforms for the next ten years.

Here are thefoulline.com’s quick hits for game 4:

  • How the hell did the Rockies make it to the World Series with a rotation of Francis, Jimenez, Fogg and Cook? These guys are even worse then I thought. If Aaron Cook can make it past the fifth inning tonight, I will eat my Red Sox hat.
  • What a great time for Julio Lugo to start playing his best baseball of the season. He got on base three times last night and made two great defensive plays. He reminded me of Plastic Man on the run-saving line drive he caught. It was a great play at a pivotal time in the game.
  • Please put Javier Lopez in the same hole Eric Gagne is hiding in. He sucks. Just because he has a funky delivery doesn’t mean he can pitch.
  • How about Big Papi at first base last night? He looked pretty good. Maybe it was the six run lead, but I wasn’t too nervous with him out there.
  • Jon Lester will complete the most inspirational comeback in sports this year when he wins game four for the Red Sox tonight.
  • I’m stuck on who I think is the MVP of the World Series. If Beckett pitched one more game, I think he would win it. But right now I think it’s a two-horse race between Dustin Pedroia and Jonathan Papelbon. I’m voting for Pedroia.
  • Get the champagne on ice.