Everybody said they’d stand behind me when the game got rough

August 29th, 2006 → 12:14 am @ // 9 Comments

To put how bad things are for the Sox right now into perspective, check out this lineup:

Crisp CF
Cora SS
Loretta DH
Youkilis LF
Hinske RF
Lowell 3B
Lopez C
Pena 1B
Pedroia 2B

Gabbard SP

There are two — that’s right, two — position players fielding the positions they played on Opening Day: Coco Crisp and Mike Lowell. The starting shortstop began the season as a utility infielder. The DH is the team’s light-hitting second baseman. The cleanup man and left fielder is Kevin Youkilis, who’s best known for taking a lot of walks. The right fielder was a disappointment and the catcher a has-been; both were picked up through waiver trades. Today is the first baseman’s first day in a Red Sox uniform; so far this year, he’s been released by the Tigers and asked for his release from the Yankees Triple-A affiliate. (When the Globe announced the signing of Pena, the headline — no joke — read “Former NU star is added to the mix.”) Oh, and the starting pitcher? The starting pitcher started the year in the minors, and is only playing today because Jon Lester, who also started the year in the minors, is now on the DL.

I could go on. Alright, fine: I’ll go on. For the first time since October 2004 (when the Sox had already clinched a playoff spot), neither Manny Ramirez or David Ortiz is in the starting lineup. On Opening Day, the starting 9 had a collected 1186 home runs; today’s lineup, even adding on five extra months, has hit 450 less round trippers. The Opening Day lineup, even with all that time on the DL, has 147 homers on the season; the team has 169, good for the sixth best in baseball. Today’s lineup has 59, good for…last. The 3-6 hitters — the meat of the order — have a combined 44 home runs on the year. (There are 20 players with more than 30 HRs so far this season.)

You still want more, you sick little masochist? Fine. Hinske’s playing right field because the team’s right fielder and its backup right fielder are injured. Lopez is catching because the team’s catcher and its backup catcher are injured. Gabbard is pitching because Tim Wakefield and Jon Lester are both on the DL (to say nothing of Matt Clement). The starting shortstop is on the DL. The DH was hospitalized for exhaustion. The left fielder’s has a knee so balky he can’t slide…or even run.

Yeah…I don’t think Bobby Abreu would have been the tonic for what ails this club. Hell, I don’t even know if Abreu and Roy Oswalt would have been enough. Sometimes everything goes your way. Sometimes it don’t. This is one of those times when it don’t. But this wheel will come back around. In the meantime, look for something good and uplifting to read (like, say — shameless plug alert — a New York Times bestseller about a happier, simpler time). Or try to figure out how to use your pasts (or, rather, my past) as a rock critic to come up with inscrutable headlines to blog posts. (Blog posts!) Or just read through a pile of magazines. Or look something good…oh, wait. I already tried that.

(I do believe I’ve had enough: it’s 5-0 in the bottom of the fourth and ESPN2 just showed a Red Sox fan with a bag over his head. I’m calling it a night. Tune in tomorrow for updates on this month’s Wired and this week’s New Yorker.)


Post Categories: Losing streaks & Obscure references to Bob Dylan lyrics

9 Comments → “Everybody said they’d stand behind me when the game got rough”


  1. yazdog8

    11 years ago

    Call me crazy, but I live in the Bay Area and I’m still going to go tomorrow and cheer my ass off for my Sox. Nothing will ever stop my love for the Sox, not even a slide of epic proportions like they’re in now. I’m in it for the good times as well as the bad times.

    Go Sox!

    Reply

  2. deversm

    11 years ago

    If the A’s had taken pity on Boston and gone the playground route, allowing each Sox hit to count as a run, we would have only lost by three. Go Sox!

    Reply

  3. mkp

    11 years ago

    NESN just announced that Ortiz is headed back to Boston to have a possible heart condition checked out…..

    AAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

    Reply

  4. sonnysiebert

    11 years ago

    There is no bottom to this abyss.

    Went to bed, woke up, checked the final score, 9-0 with Keith Foulke giving up 4 runs in relief (which clearly didn’t matter except to show that he’s no answer). Then I read that David Ortiz had another episode of irregular heartbeat and has left the team to return to Boston for tests.

    Supposedly this is no major concern (according to the team), the Red Sox just want to make sure he’s okay. For the sake of David and his family, I hope he’s all better soon.

    Reply

  5. Ogie Oglethorpe

    11 years ago

    Times like these will make it that much sweeter when we are back on top.

    Reply

  6. soxfannyc

    11 years ago

    At what point does Red Sox Nation really hold Theo accountable for this season? He wanted to be The Man, he wanted full authority over baseball decisions and was willing to engage in a power struggle with Larry to get it, to the point where he was willing to walk away from the GM job completely. Well, he got his wish. Terry Francona shouldn’t have to sit in front of the reporters and say its my fault for Kevin Youklis dropping a ball in leftfield. Terry is playing the hand he has been dealt, and obviosuly its a pretty bad hand. I know injuries have been a killer this year, especially over the last month, but good teams should be able to overcome some injuries. At what point does Theo take responsibility and say its my fault? He built this team, and quite frankly it isnt pretty. Theo has said repeatedly its about process, and sometimes good decision making leads to bad outcomes. I understand that. But at what point do we start to question the process itself. The choices made over the last two offseasons have been nothing short of a disaster. Theo didnt sign Orlando Cabrera, convinved Rent-a-Wreck was better. Oops, and the Sox are still paying Edgar. I understand not signing Pedro for four years, but letting Lowe go in favor of Clement was crazy. Lowe loved pitching in Boston, was an innings eater and has been solid for the Dodgers. Meanwhile, Clement failed miserably in a low pressure environment in San Diego and was benched by Dusty Baker in September 2004 because his head was so messed up. This is the guy Theo gave a three year deal to. The jury is still out on Coco, but it doesnt look good. He is a horrible CF and his arm is worse than Damon’s. And Damon will be a better hitter in four years than Coco, no doubt. But Theo decided this guy was so good he needed to give him a three year extension?? Same with Beckett. Why did we need to give him a big extension so quickly? Theo locked up two players for big money who so far have proven they cant play in Boston. STUPID!!

    If we really look hard at the 2004 WS team, the core of that team were players that were either signed or acquired by Dan Duquette. Granted, Theo showed alot of guts when he traded Nomar. But he got lucky with Ortiz and he wanted Javier Vazquez, not Schilling who fell into his lap when the Yanks got Javier. Fast forward two years later. The shine is off and so far Theo hasnt proven he knows how to evaluate players. You have to wonder how much Theo misses some of the front office people who are now in Arizona and elsewhere. Maybe its not such a bad thing that Theo hasnt signed his contract yet…….

    I guess this does count as “some injuries.” And I guess Schilling, Foulke, Arroyo, Millar, Bellhorn, Cabrera, Mueller, Embree, Dave Roberts, etc., weren’t part of the core of the 2004 team. Come on, man.

    This is it for this kind of post. Make an argument if you have an argument. If you want to channel Murray Chass, do it somewhere else.

    — Seth

    Reply

  7. Sully

    11 years ago

    you would think $120 million would buy a better bench…

    We get it. I know you’re from Long Island. Trolling won’t be allowed; comments that add to the discussion will be.

    — Seth

    Reply

  8. soxfannyc

    11 years ago

    Seth, I live in NYC. I am as familiar with the NYT writers as anyone, and I agree with you wholeheartedly that Murray Chass is awful, perhaps one of the worst sportswriters in the country, if not the worst. That being said, I think Dan S is just as bad and think the Globe should can him too, but thats another topic.

    The point of my post is that Im really questioning Theo’s judgement and ability to evaluate players. Hopefully the “Process” isnt broken and his moves in 2004 are more emblematic of whats to come, not the moves from the last two offseasons. All of the big free agents or trades he has made over the last two offseasons have been a disaster. Edgar, Clement, Rudy S, Julian Tavarez, Coco to name a few. Not resigning Lowe and Cabrera were mistakes. I will give him a pass on Beckett because he wasnt around when they made that trade but he did give him the big extension. I hope I am wrong, dead wrong, and that they make some great moves in the offseason and give Francona something to work with next year.

    Reply

  9. Sully

    11 years ago

    Would it make you feel better if I told you I was half-Masshole on my father’s side? FWIW, I’m not a fan of the MFY’s…

    Reply

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