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Half Way Through Season
Ron Fortier
post Jul 10 2008, 10:26 AM
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Well here we go into the last weekend of regular play before the All Star break. Half way through the baseball season and there are some
really tight races out there. As I told Chuck in my Podcast interview, I think the major surprise this year is the Tampa Rays. A team that finished in last place in the AL East division, now number one with a bullet. Young, talented players coming into their own. It's wild. Our
beloved Red Sox have serious problems in the bullpen, with the relievers being inconsistent and not getting the job done like they did last year.
Jay's A's are only five games out of first place behind the tough Angels, which says a lot for their own brand of stick to it.
Whereas I find Chicago a real battle ground as both the American League White Sox and the National League Cubs are just winning game after game. Must be something in the water.
Right now, if I were a betting dude, I'd say the World Series this year is going to be the Rays VS the Cubs. What are your thoughts?
Ron
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Glen Davis
post Jul 10 2008, 12:09 PM
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I never count out the A's especially with the Angels' history of self destruction. I think the Cubs will fade down the stretch too, because they are just not a serious club. So really, I think it's anybody's game.
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Jay Carvajal
post Jul 11 2008, 01:32 PM
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It's been an interesting year so far. I think the Rays will fade though as the pressure mounts and we'll see the Sox and Yankees battling it out pretty much like usual. I think the White Sox win the central and the Angels the west. The real excitement though will be the wild card race. I'm not up on the National League but as a fan of baseball I'd like to see the Cubs make it to the series.

As far as my A's, I'm a bit surprised they've been this competitive this quickly after their rebuild declaration for this year. We'll miss Harden because he's a great pitcher when healthy but he breaks down on a regular basis so who knew how many more starts before that happened. I think any National league team trading for him is a fool though because now he has to bat and run the bases so it's basically a clock ticking down to the next injury. If I was managing the Cubs I'd tell him to go out there and stand as far away from the plate as he can and rest the bat on his shoulder and not swing at all every at bat.

Anyway, so far it's been a pretty fun season because of a lot of teams in the race that weren't really given a chance.


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Ron Fortier
post Jul 11 2008, 02:52 PM
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Lots of wisdom in what you say about Harden playing for a National League outfit. Look at what happened to Sox pitcher Bartolo Colon.
Here's a guy always injury prone, terribly overweight as it is. So we're into inter-league play, after he's given us some really quality
starts and he has to go up to bat. And what's he do? He tries to kill the damn ball and throws his back out!!! I was watching him take those swings screaming at the TV tube. The Red Sox staff should have told him exactly what you said, Jay, stand far away from the damn plate, let three strikes go by and go SIT DOWN!!! Now he's been on the Disable List for the past month, all because of those stupid swings.
I really think Major League baseball should end that nonsense and force the National League to comply with American League rules, get a DH and stop having their pitchers bat. Its nuts.
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Jay Carvajal
post Jul 11 2008, 11:52 PM
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I agree with you, Ron, I think they should have DH's in both leagues. I know it's altering the game a bit from how it was originally conceived, but with the amount of money invested in the top pitchers I'd think from a financial point of view the owners would want to just have a DH in both leagues.


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Ron Fortier
post Jul 13 2008, 10:03 AM
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So here we are, one game away from the All Star break and the Red Sox have a chance of reclaiming first place in the AL East division because 1) Tampa Bay has suddenly taken a nose dive and 2) the Sox' bats have come alive again. But as we near the break point, I was still holding up hope management would find a way to get rid of Julio Lugo, arguably the worst shortstop in baseball today. He is clearly the
weakest defense link the Sox armor. Still, how to you trade a guy who is doing so poorly? Who else would want him? Yet there existed the possibility of give up a few good minor league players with a deal. All of which went mute the other night when Lugo conveniently injured himself running and will most likely be on the DL for more than a month.
Look, I'm not an insensitive monster here, but as a loyal Red Sox fan this just became a real mixed blessing. Good in that he's been replaced by a go-getting minor league player from triple A named Jed Lowrie. I'm just so happy NOT to see Lugo there. The bad news is,
what with his being on the DL, there goes any real chance of trading him permanently.
Some times you just can't win.
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Jay Carvajal
post Jul 27 2008, 11:45 AM
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Ah well, looks as though my A's are suffering from a couple trades too many now. They've definitely taken the step off the cliff for this season and it's over for them barring some kind of miracle. I think there's probably a few more trades coming with them so all I can do at this point is look to next year. They had a nice and surprising first half though. Anyway, I'll be pulling for your Sox, Ron!


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Ron Fortier
post Jul 27 2008, 12:00 PM
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Ha, thanks, Jay. I tend to agree with you in regards to the A's giving away the family farm this year. Let's hope there's a long term pay-off down the road. Meanwhile, the Sox current drubbing at the hands of the hated Yankees has really underscored our horrible bullpen this season. And as much as I hate losing to them, I'm hoping the Yankees have shaken up Sox management to the reality that we need strong, consistent arms in the bullpen or we can kiss the post season good-bye.
Guys like Delcarmen & Hansen (& even Bucholz) should be traded for season relievers. Also they need to lose Julio Lugo, worst shortstop in baseball today.
But will they?
Ron's prediction. No trades, no post season.
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Glen Davis
post Jul 31 2008, 04:40 PM
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The A's give away too many players every other year, at least. Sometimes I think they're really only a farm team for the Yankees.

What's the consensus on the Manny Ramirez trade?
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Ron Fortier
post Jul 31 2008, 05:14 PM
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Speaking as a loyal Red Sox fan, YAHOOOOO!!!! Bye-bye Manny, perhaps one of the game's greatest all-time hitters. Who never plays at 100%. He runs only when it suits him. He's never fully alert during a game, always daydreaming and the only outfield he's anywhere
competent is his own. As one of our local sports announcers said after the trade, "Sure, we're losing a great hitter. No arguing that.
What we are getting in Jason Bay is a top-notch baseball player." And right now, the Sox need that more than ever.
Manny's selfish antics, coming at a time when the pitching is going to hell, both with the starters and the bullpen, was the final straw.
Word has it, even his own teammates were fed up with him in the clubhouse. The fact that management gave up two other players ( a damn good outfielder in Brandon Moss and a so-so relief pitcher in Craig Hansen...plus ate the remainder of Ramirez's contract) says just how badly they wanted this egotistical trouble maker off the team.
Bye-bye, Manny. Don't let the door hit you on the way out.
Fingers crossed, now the Red Sox can simply worry about winning again. As if that isn't enough.
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Ron Fortier
post Aug 2 2008, 11:01 AM
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Well, as expected, Manny's first outing with his new team, the Dodgers, was a complete dud! You got to feel sorry for the folks of LA and Joe Tores. Meanwhile Jason Bay came through big time, helping the Red Sox end a five game losing streak with good hitting and fielding.
Welcome the Sox Mr.Bay, we are SO HAPPY to have you here.
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Ron Fortier
post Aug 28 2008, 08:14 AM
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Here we go, the last month of regular season less than a week away now. And how do the Red Sox? Well, it sure looks like management
has made the right moves to shore up most of the teams weak spots. Getting rid of Manny Ramirez was just plain common sense and as a team they are winning with him gone. So much for his big bat. Coupled with his big head, it was an element we could easily afford to lose.
In return, we got the hard working Jason Bay, who has delivered in ever single game since putting on the red and white uniform. Follow this up with the addition of veteran pitcher Paul Byrd (who has won the last two of his three games as a member of the team) and the demotion of
over-rated young Clay Buchholtz and another you add another plus. Of course the pitching woes aren't with the starters as much as the bullpen.
Manny (there's that name again) Delcarmen is an on and off switch that is going to hurt them at a crucial moment in the play-offs. I can so see that coming.
Yesterday they acquired another veteran outfielder in Mark Kotsay from the Atlanta Braves to fill in for ailing J.D.Drew. Then, as of last night, they took two away from the Yankees in their own park. Looking to sweep them this afternoon when John Lester (right now their best pitcher) faces Mike Mussina. Will the Yankees be swept?
Tampa Bay continues to win, despite all the naysayers, proving to be a true Cinderella team. We're talking 5 more weeks, fans. Now's when things really get interesting. Pass the peanuts and give a beer.
GO SOX!
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Glen Davis
post Aug 28 2008, 12:04 PM
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And the A's edged the Angels in their series this week, despite trading away almost all their pitching.
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Ron Fortier
post Aug 28 2008, 02:04 PM
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You always have to look at the A's and scratch your head. Does anyone there have a long-range plan for real? I mean every year they trade away their best players and you think, Gee, their building for the future. But then the very next year they trade the young guys they kept too. It's really perplexing. Still, somehow, they manage to win games against the best in the leagues.
Which is another aspect of this forthcoming month I love. It is watching teams like the As, Toronto and Baltimore, who have absolutely no shot at making it into the play-offs, suddenly becoming spoilers and tip the scales for or against teams battling it out. Now that's really wild stuff.
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Ron Fortier
post Aug 28 2008, 07:59 PM
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Well, no sweep. Yankees pulled it out in the bottom of the eight, our bullpen just not able to wrap it up. Still the Sox's biggest weakness.
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