Saturday, April 22, 2006

No Need To Panic

Its the nature of a Red Sox fan, back to back losses and panic sets in. Whats wrong with this team? Why is the offense not scoring, why is the pitching so terrible, what is up with the bullpen? It's natural for Sox fans who have gone through years of suffering to feel this way. But when things seem down, us fans need to put everything in perspective.

The Sox still have the most wins in baseball, along with a few other teams. The Yankees are still at the bottom of the AL East, which is good no matter what time of the year it is.

The season is not even close to over, in the end April does not mean much, look at Houston and Oakland last year, both seemed left for dead and way out of any chance at the playoffs. The Astros were 15-30 and made the World Series, the A's fought back and nearly won the AL West.

It is not yet time to throw Lenny DiNardo under the bus or curse the pitching staff. There have been 18 games so far this season. Curt Schilling is 4-0 with 4 near perfect starts, Josh Beckett has had 4 solid starts, 3 near perfect and the one two nights ago where he imploded in the 8th. Wakefield has struggled, but has turned in three solid starts but has just not had the offense behind him. Clement has been off and on and it is yet to be seen what he can do. Wells was hurt and should not have been starting and DiNardo got thrown into the pool with a bunch of lefty killing sharks today. DiNardo is better than most of the 5th starters in the AL. Our staff overall is better than most. We have two veterans who have been aces in the past, two young fireballers who have a ton of talent, and a pitcher who can get hot and be almost unhittable with his dancing knuckle ball.

The offense has struggled, but Coco the Catalyst is out with an injury, Trot Nixon missed some games, and Manny Ramirez was colder than he will be all year. Ramirez will heat up, his 2 homers two nights ago are a sign that it should be soon and David Ortiz has been on fire and will probably put up another MVP type season. Lowell has proved to be a solid replacement for Billy Mueller, while Youkilis has been outstanding at first base, Trot Nixon is on fire, and Mark Loretta has done nothing but get on base all season. Alex Gonzalez and Alex Cora are terrefic defensive players and the team leads the league in fielding percentage, something we have not been able to say for years.

This Red Sox team is much different, Nomar is long gone, Pedro as well, Bellhorn, Mueller, Embree, Millar and Johnny Damon, the guys who led the team for two years are also gone. This is a new team, but it is just as talented, if not more, definitely more than last year. This team has a shot to be special, we just have to give them time to come together. We are 11-7, no neeed to panic...yet...

Friday, April 21, 2006

Who and Why: Brian Rose

Brian Rose is a former MLB pitcher who spent four years pitching for the Boston Red Sox. Rose has a career record of 15-23 with a lifetime ERA of 5.86. He is not exactly the best pitcher the Sox have ever had, and is not the kind of guy you would expect a young Sox fan to fall in love with. But Rose is the guy who made me a huge Sox fan.

The first Red Sox memory I have is from when I was ten. Well that's a lie. I have memories from before, but they are small, I remember throwing a Boston Red Sox hat into the river in a local park to see if it could float, and then crying for a hour because I couldn't get it back and my uncle had bought it for me at Fenway. I remember watching the World Series with my family, but not who was playing or how old I was. The first clear Red Sox memory that I have comes from when I was nine years old.

In 1997 the Boston Red Sox called up a 21 year old kid from New Bedford, Mass to pitch in his first big league game. I can remember being in the car with my grandfather, a huge Sox fan, and listening to his first game, which he started. The Sox needed a pitcher and Rose had been doing well in the minors. I was just becoming a huge Sox fan, but did not love them the way that I do now. Rose pitched 3 innings and gave up 4 earned runs in a no decision. But there was something about him, maybe his age, maybe his name, just something that attracted me towards him. Rose became my favorite player, I tracked his minor league stats, and prayed for him to get a chance to come back up to the majors. Rose played in two full seasons with the Sox in 1998 and 99, before being traded to the Rockies. He is still bouncing around the baseball circuit, in the minor leagues and indy leagues and I still keep track of him.

Brian Rose is the player who helped me fall in love with the Sox and now I want to write about them. I am going to college to get a degree in journalism and hope to write about the Sox for a living someday, but for now I write for fun. This blog will have my crazy thoughts and rants on the Sox and sports in general. Sports are my passion, and I hope others enjoy reading along.